Europa

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Europa
DateFebruary 24–28, 2001 (2001-02-24 – 2001-02-28)
Duration4 days
LocationLunde Leirsted, Vestby, Norway
Budget5,000
Participation fee100
Designed byEirik Fatland
Produced byIrene Tanke
Other creators
Participants45

Europa was the name of a reception center for asylum seekers in the fictive Central European country of Orsinia, and the name of a larp about that reception center.

Summary

Five players portrayed reception center personnel, while the remainder were refugees from a series of Nordic wars that mirrored the break-up of former Yugoslavia. Players of refugee characters came from Norway, Sweden and Finland and played characters of the same nationalities as themselves. The role-playing experience was marked by subdued but powerful tensions between the ethnic groups and between the refugees and the representatives of the Orsinian system.

Themes

While set to an alternative present, the system that refugee characters were subjected to was closely and critically modeled on Norwegian practices of the time. The larp had a strong emphasis on realism in role-playing and scenography (building a 360º illusion), as well as claiming real-world relevance for its themes - nationalism and national identity, the treatment of refugees, and the dehumanizing nature of bureaucracy.

Through two smaller prologue larps (one in Norway, one in Sweden), as well as meditative and dramatic exercises pre-larp, players were made to identify with, and experience an impression of, the emotional traumas of war refugees. For this reason, despite the larp depicting the bored and subdued life of an asylum reception center, Europa is often seen as a larp about war.

Impact

Europa was held right before Knutepunkt 2001. While preceded by both Kybergenesis and AmerikA, Europa's international player-base marks it as the break-through of politically themed larping in the Nordic countries.

Techniques