Made In India: A Performance Lecture

Made In India is a performance lecture exploring the issue of commercial surrogacy. Indian sociologist and actor, Amrita Pande, is the sole performer in this aesthetic interpretation of her research in the field, under the direction of Danish director, Ditte Maria Bjerg.


Surrogacy is a rapidly growing industry in India. Poor women can gain up to a five year salary in nine months. They do it to improve their lives, to gain independence and to be able to send their children to school. At the same time, couples from all over the world have their dream of parenthood fulfilled. This raises many questions such as; ‘Is it a win-win situation?’, ‘Does it evidence global capitalism?’ and ‘Does it exploit poor women of the Third World?’

Made In India invites the audience on a fascinating journey to Doctor Patel’s baby farm in the Indian town of Anand. Here the story focuses on two Indian surrogate mothers, one client and the owner of the clinic, Dr. Patel. The narrative follows them from the ‘ordering‘ of a child, to the fertilization, pregnancy and the birth via caesarean. As a part of the performance Amrita will answer questions from the audience.

Made in India started off as a co-production between Riksteatern (Sweden), Odense Teate (Denmark) and Global Stories, a Danish organisation that produces research-based performing arts that explores the socio-political realities of our new “flat world”.

In 2010, stage director Ditte Maria Bjerg met Amrita Pande who wrote a book, Wombs in Labour (published in 2014), about surrogacy in India based on a decade of field research. Pande and Bjerg decided to create a theatre performance about the invisible stories of the surrogate mothers. It became the documentary performance Made In India – Notes from a Baby Farm.

Made In India opened in Stockholm in 2012 and toured all over Sweden. In 2013 and 2014 the performance played at several venues in Denmark. In 2015, Made In India went through a last transformation to become a performance lecture. It premiered at the University of Copenhagen and has since been staged, amongst other places, at the 2016 United Nations Women Deliver Global Conference.

The performance’s set design is by Filippa Berglund.


Reviews for Made In India have been glowing:

“An internationally significant performance that will hopefully travel around the world” – Anne Middelboe Christensen, Dagbladet Information (Danish newspaper)

“..a sharp and entertaining analysis of global capitalism and extreme economic inequality” – Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish newspaper)

“Amrita Pande glows with life and commitment as the authentic centre of the performance” – Monna Dithmer, theatre critic at Politiken (Danish newspaper)

Made In India (A Performance Lecture) will run for one night only at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Observatory, Cape Town on 18th November 2016 at 7pm, admission is R50.

Amrita Pande holds a PhD in sociology. Her interests as a researcher and educator are: gender, globalisation and social groupings. Pande currently teaches at the University of Cape Town and published the book Womb Work: Commercial Surrogacy in India at Columbia University Press in 2014.

Ditte Maria Bjerg has worked as a stage director for almost 20 years. Bjerg works in her own company, Global Stories, with research-based docu-fiction, using performative and interactional strategies. Her theatre projects deal primarily with economical, sociological and political issues. Among her latest productions are Paradise – a Pinoy Café and Ni hao Nuuk. Since January 2014, Bjerg is additionally the chairwoman of the Stageart Committee of the Danish Art Council.

Filippa Berglund is an architect educated at the The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. Berglund has been working with architecture and stage design projects as a freelancer since 2006. For many years she has been working closely with Global Stories and Ditte Maria Bjerg on a variety of productions.

Global Stories (2009) is a Danish based production company, founded by stage director Ditte Maria Bjerg. They produce research-based performing arts and dig into the socio-political realities of the globalised world. Their megalomaniac desire in all the projects is to share new territories with their audiences, touch their hearts and strengthen their orientation as global citizens. Besides that, they are busy doing research for I am also Somalia (to premiere in February 2017).


Issued by The Famous Idea on behalf of Theatre Arts Admin Collective

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

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