This Life or the Next

A groundbreaking monologue based on real life events, about a young man’s alienation, radicalization and disillusion.

When the war in Syria broke out, Norwegian authorities, relatives and friends were stunned to find nearly 100 young Norwegians traveled to the conflict areas to support the rebels. One of them was “Tariq” from Østfold. This is his story.

“If you don’t find something to live for, you should find something to die for. That’s how it was. We didn’t have much to live for. But we’d found something we were willing to die for.”

Author Demian Vitanza was teaching in a high-security prison when he met Tariq – a young, imprisoned foreign fighter who wanted to share his story. The novel “This Life or the Next” is based on many and long conversations between the two.

This stage adaption is directed by Miriam Prestøy Lie, formerly Hedda-nominated e.g. for “The Angel from Kobane”, a performance offering an opposite perspective on the Syrian conflict. Tariq is played by Ravdeep Singh Bajwa, known for the acclaimed NRK series «Jordbrukerne» and «Norsk-ish».

What makes a young person volunteer to one of the bloodiest civil wars of our time?
“This life or the next” is a performance about the search for meaning and belonging, and about getting lost on the way. It is touring Østfold and Oslo March-April 2022, both with public performances and for upper secondary schools, in collaboration with Viken DKS.

Digital pre-talk

“This Life or the Next” was originally meant to premiere in 2021. A pre-talk on central themes in the performance and its context; alienation and radicalization, was held at the House of Literature in Fredrikstad 28.2.2021 and is available digitally. Moderator: Journalist Erik Aasheim. Panel: Director Miriam Prestøy Lie, author Demian Vitanza, Tariq Alsagoff from Dialogforum Østfold and Anne Kristine Nitter from Fredrikstad municipality’s working group against radicalization.

See the pre-talk here

Press photos

Promo photos for download here:

Dette livet - foto til trykk
This Life or the Next is based on the story about how Tariq from Østfold became one of 100 Norwegian foreign fighters in Syria. Photo: Harald Fossen.
Dette livet eller det neste
Photo: Harald Fossen
Dette livet eller det neste
Tariq is portrayed by Ravdeep Singh Bajwa. Photo: Harald Fossen


Director: Miriam Prestøy Lie
Actor: Ravdeep Singh Bajwa
Original text: Demian Vitanza
Adaption: Miriam Prestøy Lie and Idun Vik
Dramaturg: Elin A. Grinaker
Set design: Helle Bendixen
Set design assistant: Kjersti Alm Eriksen
Costume Assistant: Ellen Dæhli Ystehede
Lighting design: Yasin Gyltepe
Sound design: Sven Erga
Sound technician: Knut Håvard Lilleheier
Stage manager: Andrine Pedersen Sandvær Technician: Knut Ole Ringstad
Photo / video: Harald Fossen
Production managers: Karoline Solbakken, Anneli Sollie and Anette Havna Tømmerholen

A big thank you goes out to Fred Åge Johansen and VG2 in Technology and Industrial Production at Borg Upper Secondary School 2020/2021 for cutting and prepping the Volvo used in the scenography!