Text: Birger Sellin
English Translation: Anthea Bell
Radio Adaptation & Audio Production: Darren Copeland
Theatre Adaptation & Direction: Mark Cassidy
Voice: Sebastian Schäfer
Text used with permission from Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Ich will kein Inmich mehr sein (i dont want to be an inside me anymore) is a radio art work that was adapted into a stage work under the title besidemyselfworld in 2011. Both versions of the work can be presented in either English or German. It uses the autobiographical writings of the German autistic mute teenager Birger Sellin (ich will kein inmich mehr sein) to provide a foundation for exploring how creative artistic expression can liberate one from the physical and mental trappings of low functioning autism.
The radio art version models the general form of the book, but some changes have been made to the chronological order of journal entries that are used in the book. The piece begins with a discovery of language and communication as Sellin first learns to use facilitated communication as a teenager. This presents him with a mixture of emotions including euphoria and frustration. Once he becomes accustomed to writing, a floodgate of thoughts and emotions open up that had been vented up inside him for fifteen years. He comments on how difficult it is to communicate his true feelings in real life situations, but enjoys being able to convey what is on his mind through written words. From this point on he turns to analyzing his interactions with society and looking for avenues for improvement. After reaching some pretty low emotional depths, he finds a way out and by the end, he discovers that his writing facilitates a better understanding of autism by the general public. He also recognizes that writing can enable him to reach other people and make social and intellectual connections that were not possible before.
Ich will kein Inmich mehr sein was created in 2005 in the original German as part of the Trans Canada festival at the ZKM media arts center in Karlsruhe, Germany. An English interdisciplinary stage version was presented in May 2009 by Threshold Theater and New Adventures in Sound Art for the Deep Wireless Festival in Toronto.
A new company called Tones of Voice has been formed by Mark Cassidy and Darren Copeland to present a German and English theatrical version at venues in Canada and Europe. Information and audio/video documentation of the theatrical version of the work is available at the Tones of Voice website.