Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Lilly Axter (Germany)

Victorias Station (Pokerface & Babyface)

Viktorias Bahnhof

Text Extract


Jella, 13 / Pullover Girl
Jella’s Pokerface
Jella’s Babyface
Victoria, 13
Zineb, 13
Jeremiah, 13

In Jella’s family (Ma, Pa, older sister, younger brother), people generally either don’t talk, or else nothing is actually said. The family therefore only appear in Jella’s conversations with herself, in ‘experiments’, or in her fantasies, played by Pokerface and Babyface.


Pokerface: Who gets the most texts a day?

Babyface: Zineb.

Pokerface: Exactly.

Babyface: More than Victoria and Jeremiah.

Pokerface: Exactly.

Babyface: Maybe Jeremiah’s last. Maybe he gets even fewer texts a day than we do.

Pokerface: So what.


Babyface: We’re definitely ahead of Victoria on grades.

Pokerface: You don’t say.

Babyface: Zineb’s best. Ahead of Jeremiah. Which means we’d be third. That’s still bronze, though.

Pokerface: Or next to last. If there are four people.


Babyface: We have the most brothers and sisters.

Pokerface: We didn’t earn that one.

Babyface: What about all our friends?

Pokerface: Acquaintances, more like.


Pokerface: Watching pornos, making teachers cry, getting off our head, breaking hearts, best styling, sex, nicking stuff from the corner shop, etc. And? And? And?

Babyface: You’re just bragging, Pokerface.

Pokerface: Well, Babyface, you’re ahead on cocoa and bedtime stories, that’s for sure, and on yellow jelly bears, cartoon elephants on pillowcases, key-fob dollies on backpacks, and number of times peed in swimming pools.

Babyface: I don’t pee in the swimming pool, and yes, I’d rather have a Milky Way than a joint, and cocoa instead of whiskey. But I don’t have a headache the next day, I’ve got more money, and I don’t fall asleep the minute I hit the pillow. I bet if it was alcohol-free beer and a nicotine-free cigarette you wouldn’t even notice. It’s all just a front with you. Bottle in hand and a fag dangling from the corner of your mouth – yeah, right, you phoney. D’you know what you are, Pokerface? A crap hand, and not enough cash. A long camera shot of a big blank screen.

Pokerface: Why don’t you go sit in your playpen and choke on your dummy.


Pokerface: Look at us. The only people we’ve ever kissed are relatives, Ma, Pa, cuddly toys, and little Lino. How sweet.

Babyface: The others haven’t kissed anyone either. Jeremiah hasn’t, for sure. Lots of others in the class too.

Pokerface: Bet you anything every single one of them’s kissed. We haven’t even got our periods yet.

Babyface: The later the better.

Pokerface: No dramatic stains on pale trousers… At least menstrual blood would be a bit of colour in our lives: red, the colour of love.

Babyface: Give Love a ring, Pokerface. Call her up and ask her if she wants to join you for an exciting game of rummy.

Pokerface: Anyway, things can’t go on like this. Always the same, day in, day out. There’s no action. Nothing happens, ever. Other people are in love and unhappy and throwing themselves off all the bridges in the world, or else they’re so head over heels that they’ve forgotten to have breakfast or go to the loo. But no. Here we have breakfast at the same time every morning, except at the weekend: lemon tea, lots of sugar, toast with Nutella or jam or paté, sometimes porridge.

Babyface: We’re still a child.

Pokerface: Bollocks, we’re thirteen.

Babyface: Everyone likes Nutella.

Pokerface: Big sister Kim and little brother Lino also have breakfast, so does Ma; Pa doesn’t have to get up till later. There’s nothing to write in a diary, there’s nothing to see in the mirror. Jella: capable, uncomplicated, always ready with a ‘J__a!’. Everyone says: ‘No need to worry about Jella.’ That’s exactly the problem. Nothing to worry about. No broken heart, no drama, not even bad grades, no illnesses, nothing. Just an ordinary young girl who has everything and nothing. Not even a quarrel with anyone.

Babyface: Who should she quarrel with, and why?

Pokerface: Young people quarrel with their parents and brothers and sisters. Because they’re young. That’s why.

Babyface: But nobody quarrels in this family.

Pokerface: Exactly. It’s not a family, it’s a tomb.

Babyface: You’re unfair.

Pokerface: Things can’t go on like this.

Translated by Charlotte Collins


Who am I? What do I want to be like? With whom will I go? Who wants to go with me? What should I wear? And what is love? All existential questions for twelve 12 year old Jella whose parents are preoccupied with themselves and their own problems – and can’t give her any clues. But fortunately she has friends and a sister. Using a minimal amount of language and playful packed scenes, Lilly Axster VICTORIA’S STATION is a sensitive portrait of a girl on the threshold of adulthood.



M: 2
F: 1