Independence Day: The truth, the stories and Ailees Wuornos

Research output: Non-textual formArtistic work


INDEPENDENCE DAY is a furious and poetic performance that dissolves, destroys and liberates the theatre and the music, the chronology and the linear narratives, letting the world unfold by carefully cutting it apart without putting it together again.

October 9, 2002: Aileen Wuornos’s last words before her execution: I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the Rock, and I'll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus, June 6. Just like the movie, big mother ship and all. I'll be back.

June 6, 2018: A break from rehearsals at Turteatern in Stockholm. Wego to the square outside. Swedish National day celebrations. Lots of people and joyful activities. A rabbit comes along and hugs Nina. We take a picture and go back into the theater.

July 4, 1990: A warning goes out to all white middle-aged business-looking men traveling alone on the highways in Florida. Seven men have been found dead, naked and brutally murdered in the woods along Highway I-75. It’s a serial killer with a feminine twist. Aileen, a poor homeless hitchhiking hooker is arrested for the murders. She is convicted to death. Six times.

"A raped woman got executed. And was used for books and movies and shit."

Countless documentaries, books and movies have been made on the “true story” of Aileen. The most famous one the Oscar-winning movie Monster. What is it we want to know?

We start in Nina’s fascination with Aileen. The identification. A strong pressure against the skin. Sonic Pressure. Maybe it’s about the rage? Maybe an idolatry? The desire to personalize the lesbian avenging whore. But also something more fragile, a sincere attempt to approach Aileen.

We continue our search for the truth. Not the answer to the question Did she kill those men in self defense or in cold blood? Not an attempt to be trustworthy and identifiable. It seems Aileen could never become trustworthy. Sonic Pressure. Maybe the truth is always something we cannot recognize …

"I know you guys, you pre-tape and you clip and stuff..."

We begin to cut up. The movies, the interviews, our own conversations. Physicists have concluded that even in the smallest particles, reality is many things at the same time. It depends on how we look at it. It depends on the questions we ask. We are searching for the place beyond words. The silence, the limit of what we don’t want to know. To open ourselves to the world instead of consuming the world.

"Yeah thanks a lot! 2019 a rock is supposed to hit you anyhow. You’re all gonna get nuked!"


External organisations
  • Off Highway
  • Teatr Weimar
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Performing Arts

Artistic work

  • Composition
  • Performance


  • Theatre, Performance, Documentary material in art, Sonic Scenography, Dramaturgy, Musical Composition, Performing Art
Original languageEnglish
SizeIntermedial theatre
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 23
Publication categoryResearch
EventIndependence Day - performances at Turteatern, Stockholm - Turteatern, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 2018 Aug 232018 Aug 25

Bibliographic note

Production team Independence Day: Concept and on stage: Nina Jeppsson och Kent Olofsson Text, scenography, direction and acting: Nina Jeppsson Music and sonic scenography: Kent Olofsson Scenography and props: Cihangir Gültekin Light and video: Jörgen Dahlqvist Outer eye and costume: Indra Linderoth Production: Off Highway, in collaboration with Teatr Weimar With support from the Swedish Arts Council Biography Nina Jeppsson: Nina Jeppsson is an actor and performing arts artist. She was educated at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has been working as an actor at theatres as Göteborgs Stadsteater, Riksteatern and Ung Scen/Öst. Founder of the performing arts collective Off Highway, the queer-feminist performance arts collective TIR and the action theatre Jordbro Stadsteater – a manifestation for the common and an action against privatizations and gentrifications. She has written and created a number of performing arts works, like Att öva på våldtäkt (Rehearsing Rape), VI ÄR SKIT – Stoppa rivningen av Jordbro Kulturhus! (WE ARE SHIT – Stop the demolition of Jordbro Cultural House!) and TIR vs. Män som grupp – fall på knä käraste och kyss jorden (TIR vs. Men – Fall Down on your Knees Dearest and Kiss the Earth). Several works have also been performed internationally in Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, Denmark and Cuba. "Off Highway" is a non-profit association whose objective is to conduct qualitative, experimental and interdisciplinary performing art that takes off from real needs in an unequal society. The association is made up of professional artists with different backgrounds whose common goal is to develop methods for dissolving colonising boundaries, ready-made ideas and identities. Through performing art we want to create space for those meetings and conflicts, the poetry and insecurity, which the market rejects.