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ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury

Tania El Khoury

Sept 6-28

2018 Fringe Festival

Runtime TBA

Cost TBA

Venue TBA

DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“I was reminded how much power there can be when one human voice, unstilled, speaks the truth to one listener.” Boston Globe

“Using the audience as collaborators rebalances the power dynamics around us. In such a medium both the artist and audience reveal their politics. You are invited to take a stand, make a decision, react, relate, play, give an opinion, disagree.” Tania El Khoury

An extensive survey of artist Tania El Khoury’s work featuring five interactive performances and installations.

Gardens Speak, an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. (Bryn Mawr College) Read more

Camp Pause, a video installation by Dictaphone Group that tells the stories of four residents of the Rashidieh Refugee Camp on the coast of Lebanon. (Bryn Mawr College) Read more

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, an encounter through a gallery wall between a single audience member and a refugee. (Old City & Bryn Mawr College) Read more 

Stories of Refuge, an immersive video installation that invites audiences to lay down on metal bunk beds and watch videos shot by Syrian asylum seekers in Munich, Germany. (Old City) Read more

Tell Me What I Can Do, a newly commissioned work featuring letters that audiences have written in response to Gardens Speak. (Bryn Mawr College) Read more

Working between Lebanon and the United Kingdom, Tania El Khoury meticulously crafts innovative performances and installations that engage the audience in multi-sensory interaction. No one shouts at you during these interactive experiences, no soundbites oversimplify the complexity of your direct encounter with unfamiliar realities of living under oppression, or in the midst of political upheaval, or on the margins. Unlike more conventional theater and performance, El Khoury’s live art work comes alive through the audience’s interaction with it.

An extensive survey of El Khoury’s art, ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury presents five pieces at locations in Old City and at Bryn Mawr College. Click here for a map to help you navigate the works on Bryn Mawr’s campus.

Learn more about ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Special Events:

Reflections on Syria: event with Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, featuring guest speakers, music and refreshments
Sat Sept 8, 2pm–4pm

Conversation with architect Abir Saksouk and artist Tania El Khoury for opening of Camp Pause
Wed Sept 12, 5pm–6:30pm

Understanding the Question of Palestine as an Anti-Racist Struggle: a lecture by Noura Erakat
Fri Sept 14, 6pm–7pm

Artist discussion with Tania El Khoury and Pepón Osorio
Sat Sept 15, 5pm–6pm

Photos Tania El Khoury (featured); Jesse Hunniford (Gardens Speak photo)


Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.



About Tania El Khoury

Tania El Khoury is a live artist whose work focuses on audience interactivity and is concerned with the ethical and political potential of such encounters. She creates installations and performances in which the audience is an active collaborator. Her solo work has toured internationally and has been recognized with Anti Festival’s International Prize for Live Art, the Total Theatre Innovation Award, and the Arches Brick Award.

Tania holds a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research and publications focus on the political dimension of interactive live art in the wake of the Arab uprisings.

Tania is associated with Forest Fringe collective of artists in the UK and is a co-founder of Dictaphone Group in Lebanon, a research and performance collective aiming at questioning our relationship to the city, and redefining its public space.

Learn more about the artist at

Further Reading

Challenge and Care: An Interview with Tania El Khoury by Monica Uszerowicz, BOMB

Excerpt: I’m interested in situations that are familiar and caring but also uneasy; I try to design audience experiences that are both caring and challenging. The politics of the audience need to be challenged in an ethical experience of mutual care.

Read the full interview

I Once Fell in Love with an Audience Member: Practice, Performance, Politics by Tania El Khoury, Ibraaz

Excerpt: I feel that the performances I create are not necessarily performer-centric, which I understand to be a key element of performance art. Live art is about creating experiences and unconventional encounters. Like performance art, it can happen using different mediums and in various spaces. It is a practice that is concerned with the public and it is this public experience that makes the artwork live, regardless of the presence of its performative or dramatic setup.

Read the full essay


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