Playing possum – My Brothers Might Kill me is originally an interdisciplinary performance piece which premiered at the Helsinki Live Art Performance Festival 2015. The work is based on the defensive behaviour of possums, and is inspired on artist Anthony Hüseyin Pharaoh’s personal experiences of being the subject of an honor killing threat. When facing a dangerous situation, a possum will take on the appearance of being dead as a defensive behaviour. Since the victim’s families are mostly the executioners of honor killings, there are usually no funerals organised. Therefore, Hüseyin has organised his own Islamic traditional funeral in order to complete his physical and emotional act of playing a possum. Recently, the piece was performed at the opening of Rotterdam Gay Pride week and Oxford Brookes University Live Art Performance weeks.
Turkish-Dutch performance artist and singer-songwriter Hüseyin Badıllı (AKA Anthony Hüseyin Pharaoh) began his performances of creative activism in 2013 during the peak of the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, for which he wrote the song ‘Mr. Prime Minister’. His works focus on provoking, manipulating, and eventually confronting society’s hypocrisy. Collaborating with artists from various disciplines Badıllı explores themes like racism, sexism, and poverty.
In 2015 his first interdisciplinary performance piece ‘Playing Possum-My Brothers Might Kill me’ was invited by the Helsinki Theater Academy for the LAPSody Festival in Finland. Recently the piece was performed at the opening of Rotterdam Gay Pride September 2016. Part of the performance can also be exhibited as an installation. It was shown in the Istanbul gallery TOZ and at Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Instituut. A previous performance of his, ‘I Eat Pork’ was performed at the Contemporary Art Fair Rotterdam. The performance video Badıllı made for ‘Mr. Prime Minister’ was screened at Tent in Rotterdam.