Land of Eagles is an audio drama consisting of five monologues written by Alison Porter and recorded remotely by professional actors during the pandemic. Each monologue presents a different perspective (victim/survivor, trafficker, case worker and mother) on the story of an Albanian survivor of human trafficking for the sex trade. The story is based on verbatim testimony and real events provided by the Medaille Trust and Black Country Women's Aid, in the UK and the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation and Arise in Tirana, Albania. The events in the story are real but names have been changed to protect those sharing their stories. The monologues were broadcast in a daily podcast over a week in October 2021 by the Medaille Trust.
In tribunal plays the judge or tribunal chair is able to introduce contextual information and in some verbatim plays a quasi-narrator provides important contextual information for example Vardy v Rooney (Kearney, 2022) uses television reporters, Synergy’s The Special Relationship (Abdulrazzak, 2020) uses an immigration officer as MC, and Alecky Blythe writes herself into Come Out Eli (2014). The creative team experimented with the use of a narrator in the form of the voice of Lekë Dukagjini (a 15th century Albanian Prince and law maker) and a chorus but stylistically these classical approaches clashed with the realism of the monologues. The team also experimented with informational boards and projected images to provide context but these visual mediums, of course, did not work with audio drama. For the Anti-Slavery week podcasts the Medaille Trust used an announcer to introduce each monologue and subject matter experts to provide contextual information rather than a narrator which removed the dramaturgical problem. Later in the process the idea of a contextual installation to frame the podcasts emerged and led to the creation of Artefacts.
14:33, Thu 23 Feb 2023
The fourth monologue features Majlinda's mother, Ela, who is at home in Albania. She doesn't know where her daughter is or what has become of her, but feels unable to ask questions or look for her. The accompanying podcast features interviews with Ana Stakaj and Irena Kraja from the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, supporting trafficked women and girls in Albania and their families. Mary Ward Loreto do vital work preventing modern slavery and supporting victims and their families. Irene describes exploitation in Albania as 'widespread but not visible'. The discussion explores the experiences of women who are exploited and trafficked within and from Albania, as well as their families who are left behind.
Donna Sherifi – the voice of Ela, was born in Kosovo, grew up in Sweden and trained as an actor in London.
(MP3 format, 3.1 MB)