Global Belly

Global Belly

A performance about transnational surrogacy

The unfulfilled desire to have children drives couples from Germany and Switzerland abroad. They entrust surrogates in India, the USA and Ukraine to deliver their children. These intending parents dodge legal borders and enter unknown moral ground. Flinn Works has undertaken research in all five countries in order to gain a deeper understanding of gestational surrogacy. Is it a blessing of modern medicine or a neocolonial act? Is delivering the child of a stranger work or charity? How do we compensate this ‘labour of love’? Since transnational surrogacy became illegal in countries such as India and Thailand, follicles, embryos and surrogates get flown around the globe. Where the desire for a child meets biotechnology, children will find a way into the world. Now they exist and they need passports. But which ones? With its ethical complexity and emotional polarisation, its legal grey areas and its medical realities, this booming industry unfolds upon the stage. In an installation-performance, breezy agents meet content surrogates, arguing feminists encounter loving intended fathers. Global Belly portrays people entangled in the surrogacy business. This performance shifts between borderless desire, finely balanced intimacy, heated debate and the cool logic of the market.

German and English (original) or English (international version) for 30 people in the audience.

Performance Anne Hoffmann, Matthias Renger, Sonata, Lea Whitcher
Special Guest on video Crystral Travis
Research Flinn Works
Director Sophia Stepf
Dramaturg Lisa Stepf
Consultant Dr. Anika König
Stage & Costume Designer Philine Rinnert
Music Support Jörg-Martin Wagner
Assistant Director Elisabeth Lindig
Assistant Stage Design Alice Harrison
Production Management ehrliche arbeit - freies Kulturbüro

Opening: 12.10.2017 Sophiensaele Berlin
Shows: 13-15.10. Sophiensaele Berlin, 24.10.-29.10. Dock 4 Kassel, 30.10.-5.11. Theater Tuchlaube Aarau,

Special show at CREA Amsterdam: 7.12.2017, 6 pm (English version, as part of the conference 'Surrogacy – Policies, Practices and Experiences' , limited registration:, Tickets 15 €)

A Flinn Works Production in cooperation with Sophiensaelen Berlin and Theater Tuchlaube Aarau. Funded by Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Fonds Darstellende Künste, Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Kulturamt der Stadt Kassel, Gerhard-Fieserer Stiftung and MMB Goethe-Institut Mumbai. The performance at CREA Amsterdam is supported by Goethe-Institut Netherlands.


"Flinn Work's latest creation 'Global Belly' questions the legality of surrogacy, the complexity of the business, the pain of childlessness and the use of women's bodies in this capitalist world. But it never tries to give an answer. Instead the interaction with the audiance is almost like a therapy, where you will search and find the answers, also to your deepest desires, to your own hidden querries."

Deutsche Welle, Bengali