EXILE – Free Poets on the Run


EXILE – Free Poets on the Run is an app and theatrical event that lets audiences experience the writings of three exile poets in public spaces. By means of a GPS coordinated app, the listeners are brought on a poetic audio journey in shopping centres, libraries and cultural centres of various cities. While walking through these various spaces, poems about freedom will be read to you in Swedish, English, Arabic or Persian.

EXILE premiered in three different locations in Sweden in April 2016, and will soon be released internationally.

With EXILE, RATS Theatre wants to promote freedom of speech and dialogue between people. We also seek to extend the possibilities and reach  for performing arts – to function in mobility between different cities and media plattforms, by bringing it outside the standard cultural venues and to reach out to those who do not usually visit theatres and cultural centres. We want to support everybody’s right to freely participate in the cultural life in which public participation forms a dialogue about the social and political issues of our time.

EXIL beskuren How does it work?

1) Download the App EXIL on your smartphone through Google Play or AppStore

2) Put on your headphones and start the journey by following the map. Walk towards the nearest position.

3) Listen to the poem that is being activated automatically once you are on the right position.

4)  Share your reflections and interact with the app.

The audience can interact with the poetry by writing down their own reflections. Each poem is followed by a question: What does exile mean to you? What gives you strength? What is home to you?

At the end of the journey, the audience are gathered at a central place in the site. The participants’ reflections from all the cities are linked together and become visible on a screen for all at the same time.

Exil - poeter


Faraj Bayrakdar | Born in 1951 in Syria. He published his first collection of poems in 1979, before he got seized by the Syrian intelligence. He was held in prison and tortured for 14 years. After an extensive international campaign, Bayrakdar was released and found refuge in Sweden where he now lives and works.

Jila Mossaed | Born in 1948 in Iran. She published extensively in Persian before she fled the repression and came to Sweden with her two children in 1986. Today she is a world-renowned writer and have published six poetry collections in Swedish.

Nelly Sachs | Born in 1891 in Germany. After escaping a concentration camp, Sachs fled to Sweden in 1940 together with her husband and mother, where she lived and worked until her death in 1970. A major theme in her poetry is the Holocaust. Sachs was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1966.


The EXILE Poetry App is a production of RATS Theatre – a research theatre at Stockholm University – and Östgötateatern in Norrköping, with the support of the Swedish Arts Council.