The aim of the advent calendar, produced and posted onto SoMe during December 2016, was to present a few of the many often tragic and powerful personal stories from members of Sabaah’s community. Stories which are rarely shared with the public as people in Sabaah’s safer spaces can be in vulnerable positions and often need to remain anonymous.
With this in mind, Sabaah engaged with actors to interpret the four stories shown in the advent calendar. Collected from members anonymously, they were then edited into script form. The calendar was produced within a very short timeframe by volunteers and on an extremely low budget. It is now used in Sabaah’s outreach work.
Sabaah worked with actors with ethnic minority backgrounds, and one of the actors is a trans person. These minority positions purposefully remain unaddressed in the calendar because the creators wish to fight the harmful tendency in mainstream media to portray trans identities as inherently problematic. Likewise, Danish actors of minority ethnic backgrounds often experience only being hired to play stereotypical acting parts highlighting their “otherness”.
The actors in the advent calendar are “just actors”, supporting Sabaah’s general aim to contribute to a broader representation of minorities in the Danish media landscape. To distort the narrative, a female identified person has in some instances been selected to tell the story of a male and vice versa. This acts to separate the actor from the storyteller and underlines how social categories such as gender affect how we view a person and their story.
Sabaah’s advent calendar was created and produced by Sophie Lund-Hansen and Leyla Bautista
Sabaah is a Danish organisation working culturally, politically, and socially to support LGBT+ people with ethnic minority backgrounds.