Mawda means affection

Marie-Aurore D’Awans & Pauline Beugnies / KVS


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“We want to tell the story of Mawda and her family. Not to bring justice, because that is not our role, but to do justice to the humanity that was taken from them. They are not ‘transmigrants’, but Prhast, Shamdin and Hama. She was Mawda.”

This performance tells the story of Mawda (مه ودا ), the little girl who was killed by a Belgian police bullet in May of 2018. A tragedy brought to the stage, to make sure it is not dismissed as some inconsequential accident. 

Mawda Shamdin Ali was two years old. She was in a van that was supposed to take her to England, along with her parents, her little brother and about twenty other people. On a Belgian motorway, the police started a manhunt. A police officer fired a bullet. The bullet hit Mawda in the head. She died. Her parents and her brother were put in jail.

Prhast and Shamdin are from Iraqi Kurdistan. They had to flee because they weren’t allowed to get married. They fled because they love each other.

For over two years, theatre creator and actor Marie-Aurore d'Awans and filmmaker-journalist Pauline Beugnies, together with KVS dramaturge Kristin Rogghe, have been collecting material from reality (through interviews, attending the trial, ...), and they are in dialogue with Mawda's parents to create this performance.

We want to tell this story. The love story of the parents, a Kurdish Romeo and Juliet. The story of her big brother, forever marked by this drama. The story of a life in exile. But we also want to understand how this drama could have happened. In what political context? And how do our media deal with it? How is it that a drama that should feed the public debate about migration policy is ultimately reduced to a fait divers?

“We want to tell the story of Mawda and her family."




Live recording on demand via saskia.lienard@kvs.be (programmers) or sebastien.parizel@kvs.be (press).


Sébastien Parizel
0478 92 09 82

​​Saskia Liénard
​​0496 55 19 92

Catherine Vervaecke
02 210 11 57