, February 27, 2015
Now, as I walk in the streets of Lahore, I realize that I too am in a supermarket – producing and consuming Pakistan like the “Iran experts” do Iran. The lens of my camera is tinted with the preconceived notions I have packaged and brought to Pakistan. In fact, the supermarket goes both ways: Pakistanis, too, produce and consume me as a certain plastic image of Iran. Ironically, with Reza Kazim’s words of revolution still ringing in my ears, I am engaged in the free-market capitalism of clichés. read more
, April 3, 2014
"Spring Awakening," directed by Michael Roes. Summer 2013 “Why do we busy ourselves in foreign countries?” is one of the central questions asked in all the debates on neo-colonialism. By “we,” panellists usually think of the ‘West,’ or the ‘Occident.’ And as “foreign” they preferably designate all non-European and North American countries. – And, of course, the anti-neo-colonialist’s answer to these questions is a strident “For no reason whatsoever!” Such debates tend to provoke polarising contributions … read more
, August 2, 2013
X Apartments, Beirut 2013. Photo by Ashkal Alwan X Apartments went well. Albeit with many discussions: is it possible to do such a thing? Is it not a display of misery? Does it not confirm Orientalist prejudices? Today I went back to Bouj Hammoud and was greeted with friendliness on every corner. The Syrian fish ladies, who are the insider tip … read more
, July 18, 2013
Busses. Beirut 2010. © Katrin Wächter It’s so easy to get it wrong. Soon after arriving in Beirut, I end up at a kefta stand; a small, garage-like shack that no tourist would voluntarily set foot in. Yet the kefta and the chicken skewers taste fantastic. While eating, I look around. Straight across, there is a bus terminal. Especially in the darkness, it is at first difficult … read more
, June 12, 2013
Workshop with Rimini Protokoll, HWP 2012-13. Photo by Ashkal Alwan My flat is located in the Armenian neighbourhood of Geitawi. It is beautiful and spacious. Directly across, a man shouts every ten minutes. He used to teach Arabic, then he got fired. Now he teaches the street swearwords and curses, of which the Arabic language knows many. The light goes on and his voice thunders … read more
, March 28, 2013
© David Savran 2011 For the first time during my travels abroad, I decided to keep a journal, expecting that I would want to record and process the extraordinary experiences I knew I was going to have. Since I am a careful observer of foreign cultures and always try to get to know local artists, this journal, quite unintentionally, became schizophrenic: half a Western tourist’s Orientalist musings and half the attempts of a student of culture to understand Egypt’s political and cultural economies. Reading it again in light of the uprising in Tahrir Square, I realized that my schizophrenic prose had unwittingly captured a “state of emergency,” a moment of coming-into-being, which, Walter Benjamin notes, “is not the exception but the rule,” and of which we become sensible only by hearkening to the “tradition of the oppressed.” These entries thus document a state of emergency which, like all such states, becomes recognizable only in retrospect. To my own journal, I append the first two emails I received from Egyptian friends after the revolution began. read more
, June 21, 2011
Soulemayne Mbodj In this interview with Gastón Alzate, Souleymane Mbodj discusses several issues relating to the interweaving of performing cultures. These include the unity of literature and the performing arts in Africa; his views on African and Western philosophy; his experience playing Bach’s second prelude in C minor with Lebanese and Armenian musicians; the appropriation processes and cultural fractures resulting from colonization; and the essential value of black music in the Americas for African communities to recover cultural ties shattered by the slave trade. He shares his thoughts on the crossroads and divergences between Africa and the West regarding ways of thinking and conceptions of art. read more
, May 26, 2011
Tea Time with Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky. © Thomas Martius read more
, July 7, 2010
Still from Christmas Beach Walk – Jörg Laue, 2008. Festival Theaterformen in Braunschweig – Thematic weekend: The Presence of Elsewhere – Here and Now read more
, June 20, 2010
"Game Over." By Sandra Umathum. A group of scholars and Ph.D. students from Freie Universität Berlin went to Israel in February 2010 for the concluding session of the three-year long project Poetics and Politics of the Future. During their stay they encountered inspiring colleagues, and saw performances both culturally and socially different from what they may have been used to. Here is a collection of four personal reflections on their experiences 'encountering Israel.' read more