What was the meaning of it all anyway? All the trees and famine and wars and disasters, and even the pencils and pens… What did they all mean? Everything gained meaning when you found that spark. People think it’s far away, in some distant location but it’s right inside you. This isn’t an answer or a consequence says Lee Hall in his play “Spoonface Steinberg”. And today, we’re announcing “Spoonface”, a play which has been shaped around these words and will be performed around the world. Written by Lee Hall, who is better known as the creator of Billy Elliot, this is a story told through the eyes of a little boy suffering from autism and cancer and his last words about how life is worth living despite all the problems and incoherency that enshroud it.

The announcement of Spoonface comes at a special time as it coincides with Tohum Autism Foundation and Istanbul Bilgi University Centre for Sociology and Education Studies’ #HerkesAynıOlsa (If Everyone Were the Same) campaign which is sponsored by Sabanci Foundation in scope of World Disability Week. Though the two projects are independent, they thematically complement each other. And I guess this is what the issue is about. Supporting each other despite our differences. We did say the two were independent from each other however, it would be unfair to overlook Tohum Autism Foundation and in particular Özgül Gürel and Nergiz Koçarslan’s support for the “Spoonface” project.

Spoonface is a reminder of how life is worth living and how we set the meaning of life despite our mortal nature. It strongly asserts that difference is an asset and not dissent. You’re autistic, you haven’t gone to school based on your special needs, you’ve been oppressed for the values you believe in but life is worth living despite it all… Taking a very simplistic approach, Spoonface does an excellent job of focusing on “existence” and “happiness” and many other issues which are in fact a part of our daily lives that seldom get mentioned. It boldly argues that you weren’t afraid of being born so why fear death. The play will be staged in the house of a family of four in Hakkari, at a park in New York or at a theatre festival in Africa. Autism is not a disease, it’s a difference. Who knows, maybe people with autism think we’re strange.

By invitation of HRH Princess Dr Nisreen El-Hashemite, the General Director of the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT), the world premiere of the play will take place on 21 September International Peace Day in Geneva inside the building where the UN was founded. The essence of the play is “differences make us who we are” because you wouldn’t be “you” if everyone was the same. Here is a great example: last week a lot of people changed their Instagram profile pictures and names to #HerkesAynıOlsa which meant that you couldn’t tell who was writing at first glance. In the absence of differences, you are no longer unique.