We are launching this Moussem Cities in Beirut in collaboration with Ettijahat-Independent Culture. This two-day programme focuses on artists who live in Syria or who have become stranded in Lebanon. This starting shot is designed to turn a spotlight on the political and social circumstances in which many Syrian artists are forced to work, and the difficulties that they experience due to their limited mobility. This beginning also underlines the role played by Beirut as a link between Damascus and the world; it is a city of vital importance to independent Syrian art production and as a space in which Syrian makers can express themselves. But also a city that is aware of its difficulties and limitations, and where working conditions for (Syrian) artists are far from comfortable. A two-day programme with encounters, theatre en concert.
14 January 2019
19:00 – Reception
20:15: Opening and welcome talk (Abdullah Alkafri &Mohamed Ikoubaan)
20:30: Extracts from Heaven performance by Zoukak Theatre Group
This performance closes the chapter of historical research we started in 2012 with Perform-Autopsy. Through this research, we gained insight into the private-public relationship with history. It revealed our incomplete historical empire: the curse of repetition and echoes, our fragile reality and selves, the breath-constricting anxiety when we attempt to bury the rubble of the past in denial and reconstruction, the fear, hatred and self-loathing at the thought of our murderers and reality silencers - and our victims, anxiousness over our struggles, actions and betrayals, nostalgia that sinks us in past events somehow linked to us.
In this work, we come to a self realization as individuals. We have become what we lost and we have lost what we have become. Our history has reduced us to numbers that fuel a destructive controversy. We challenge that which paralyses us and denies us a future. Between the here and the there, the now and the then, recollecting our memories and our losses. On stage, we stand up so we can see, we speak out so that we may hear, we tell our stories so we can realize ourselves.
“Heavens” was presented for the first time in Zoukak Studio in 2014, it was performed 20 times in Lebanon and in India in 2016. It was directed by Omar Abi Azar and Junaid Sarieddeen and performed by Maya Zbib, Lamia Abi Azar and Danya Hammoud. The group collaborated with Hashem Adnan on writing the text, and with Abraham Zeitoun on Scenography.
21:00 : Joufoun (Eyelids)
Why do we barricade ourselves behind doors? What about the doors within ourselves? To whom do we open them and in whose faces do we slam them shut? Why are we afraid of opening them? What would happen if we did? Why do we isolate our inner selves with so many different doors and such strange locks? The doors inside you are of your own making. Only you can think about them and figure out how thick they are, why they exist and how isolated you are because of them. Only you can open these doors – but do you have the courage to let in the sun?
Directed by: Rana Karam
Performing : Rana Karam - Angela Al-Debs
Artistic Collaborator: Mayar Alexan
Scenography: Ghaith Al-Mahmoud
Assistant Scenographer and Set Decorator: Ahmad Al-Alby
Design and Lighting: Taher Al-Salloum
Design and Lighting: Al-Multajeb Issa
15 January 2019
21:00 : Sweet Evening - An Evening of Music
Khaled Omran: A graduate of the Damascus Higher Institute of Music in double bass, Khaled Omran is a composer, producer, bass player and singer. He is a former member of the improvisational band “Fetet Lebet” and a current member of the band “Tanjaret Daghet”.
Tarek Khuluki: Tarek Khuluki is a guitarist, electronic musician, composer, producer and singer. He is also a member of the band “Tanjaret Daghet”.
Dani Shukri: Dani Shukri is a composer and drummer who collaborates regularly with local and international musicians. He is a former member of the improvisational band “Fetet Lebet” and currently a member of the band “Tanjaret Daghet”.
Lynn Adib: A musician and singer based in Paris, France. Jazz, modern and traditional music from Syria.
Narik Abajian: Narik Abajian is a graduate of the Damascus Higher Institute of Music, where he studied the organ. He works as a composer and music arranger, primarily on orchestral works. He is a former member of the improvisational band “Fetet Lebet” and a current member of the band “Tanjaret Daghet”.
Nizar Omran: A graduate of trumpet from the Damascus Higher Institute of Music, Nizar Omran is a member of the National Syrian Orchestra and collaborates regularly with local and international musicians. He is also former member of the improvisational band “Fetet Lebet”.
Ary Jean Serhan: Ary Jean Serhan is a singer, composer, buzuq player. He graduated in buzuq from the Damascus Higher Institute of Music and has since composed a number of scores for film and television. In 2017, he released his first album, JAYAN.