A radio play by Ulrike Haage and Andreas Ammer.

On May 11, 1830, the sailors of the research vessel “HMS Beagle” exchange with the indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego the young Orundellico of the Yamana tribe for a mother-of-pearl button. The 15-year-old gets the name Jemmy Button. Captain FitzRoy decided to take four of the young Fuegian hostages all the way to England “to become useful as interpreters, and be the means of establishing a friendly disposition towards Englishmen on the part of their countrymen.” Like many stories also this one does not go well…One year later, Fitzroy returned the three surviving Fuegans home. He took with him a young naturalist, Charles Darwin. Haage and Ammer do not talk about what they know or suspect anyway. But perform a revival ritual without moral gravity: An essential part of the radio play are original sound recordings of the Yamana people. The radio play – based on the diaries of Darwin and Fitzroy – tells of the consequences of being uprooted and became a model for Michael Ende’s children’s book character Jim Knopf a century later.

Manuscript, direction and composition: Ulrike Haage & Andreas Ammer.

Cast: Birte Schnöink, Lars Rudolph, Nora Gomringer, Paul Hanford, Peter Thiessen.

Editor: Ulrike Toma. Engineers: Philipp Fiedler, Sebastian Ohm, Gerd Ulrich Poggensee.

Radio premiere: NDR KULTUR, 10 October 2017