Rafika Chawishe is an award-winning actress, performer and director. Her mother is Greek and her father is Syrian. She has been working as a theatre-maker in the political and documentary theatre in Greece.
In 2014, she created the company Zlap. Zlap's performances Notebooks of Crisis,Volume I and Notebook of Crisis, Volume II were presented at the Athens Biennial, The Mixer Festival in Belgrade, and the Institute of Mihalis Kakoyiannis. Rafika recently directed a performance at the National Theater of Oslo/Ibsen Festival/Monsters of Reality the Mimesis Machine.
In 2017 she was selected by the NEON foundation to commission her new media installation performance as a ground breaking idea. She also recently won the Ibsen scholarship- Ibsen Awards to support her theatre-media project based on the subject of nationality, citizenship and belonging. As an actress she has performed a cameo role in the awarded film of A. Avranas " Miss Violence" produced by Faliro House Productions S.A. She also holds a minor role in the film " Dance fight, love die" by Asteris Koutoulas on Mikis Theodorakis, where she plays Melina Merkouri . The film was screened in Germany and in Greece in various Movie Theatres in April 2018.
On stage, she has collaborated with the National Theater, the Athens Festival, , the ancient theater of Epidavre etc. She started performing in a young age, in productions, portraying leading parts from the classical repertory. Rafika Chawishe made her professional debut with the National Theatre of Greece at the small theatre of Epidavre, at her graduating performance playing Cassandra in The Trojan Women. Over the following few years she played several of William Shakespeare's plays in such roles as Imogene in Cymbeline, Juliet in Romeo and Portia in the Merchant of Venice. As a film director she has directed three short films. The films have screened in various film festivals around the world (Seoul International FF, Palm Springs Short Fest, Cannes International FF/Short film Corner, Locarno FF). In 2014, Chawishe was selected as one of the 25 most promising European young Filmmakers at the Locarno Film Festival in the Young Filmmakers Academy.
She is a dynamic children rights' activist and has worked extensively with unaccompanied refugee minors at the first reception center in Lesvos, Moria, Greece