Formative experience as a refugee

Enissa Amani has made her breakthrough on the comedy scene. Her life in Germany began in a refugee hostel.

Enissa Amani

A pretty chatterbox.

This woman should not be underestimated! Enissa Amani may well have dark brown almond-shaped eyes, long curls and a squeaky voice, like to wear scanty outfis and call herself a “chick”, but she should certainly not be judged by her appearance. Enissa Amani has only been on the stand-up com­edy scene since 2013, but she has certainly shaken it up a bit already. In October 2015 she was awarded the German Comedy Prize as the best new-comer. Her shows are always booked out.

Amani’s parents fled from Iran to Frankfurt am Main in 1985 with their then two-year-old daughter. Her father had been persecuted in Iran as a left-wing intellectual and writer. Enissa Amani describes the time they spent in refugee accommodation as defining. Today she processes her life in two cultures for her shows. Her time at school “with all those sweet and perfect German girls” was not easy. “My parents were communists. It’s difficult when you start school and you are the only one whose candy cone reads “Freedom for all political prisoners in Iran”. In interviews she tries to generate understanding for refugees and for the host societies: “If people have never had to flee, they have different views and different fears.”

Amani went on tour in 2015 with the comedy collect­ive RebellComedy. The artists have foreign roots but do not embody roles on stage. Instead, their own story is the basis for their actions on stage. In Amani’s case, there is a lot to talk about. ▪