< BLOG

Posts Tagged ‘ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury’

Stories of Refuge

Posted September 26th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“The videos produced as part of the Stories of Refuge project are not only a recording of the participants’ oral histories, but also a representation of their own lives through their own lenses. Hiding their identity, the participants chose to represent their lives through their voices, their choice of material to shoot in their intimate spaces, and numerous intentional omissions.” Tania El Khoury

“We want freedom. We want nothing but freedom.” Participant in Stories of Refuge project

Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in 2011, refugees have been fleeing the brutality of the Assad regime and searching for new destinations, Munich being one of them. Many asylum seekers arrive by land, crossing unofficial borders, through successive European countries.

Tania El Khoury and Petra Serhal from Beirut-based Dictaphone Group collaborated with a group of Syrian refugees who had recently arrived in Munich. They provided each person with a discreet camera for a day, the only instructions being to film their lives in Munich and their favourite spots in the city. Interviews with the refugees work as a soundscape over the footage they created. Audiences engage with the films from metal bunk beds, outfitted with mattresses and pillows.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

FREE
Gallery Hours 11am–5pm
Wednesday–Saturday

Video Installation by Dictaphone Group (2013) Concept and Video Editing Tania El Khoury Devised with Petra Serhal Videos filmed by anonymous asylum seekers Commissioned by Spielart Festival

Photos Tania El Khoury

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

 

Festival Star Producers: Martha Carey and Mark Tomlinson


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Stories of Refuge: Oral Histories of Syrian Asylum Seekers in Germany by Tania El Khoury, Jadaliyya

Excerpt: Although I had suggested a few “beauty shots” to the participants, none of them showed interest in such suggestions.  They all ended up producing videos that look like the thousands of YouTube videos that came out of Syria since the start of the uprising—often filmed by ordinary people using phone cameras.

Read the full article

Gardens Speak

Posted September 23rd, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Posted September 23rd, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way—as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do—it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

“Trust is inherent to As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Both on Basel’s part and mine. He entrusted me with his story, and I entrusted him with my body for that short period. It was an exchange that has left me reeling.”  Kaila Schedeen, Fusebox Festival

Photo by Nada Zgank

This 12-minute, one-on-one installation performance is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms and fingertips touch without them seeing each other. The refugee marks the audience member with the story of a family’s journey from Syria to Sweden as the audience member listens on headphones to those who have challenged border discrimination. When the performance ends, those stories can be kept or washed away.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is made in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who is from Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria. Tania El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track us. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. In today’s world, a refugee’s journey can continue as far as their fingertips take them. 

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Pii Gallery: $15

242 Race Street
Old City

Performances begin every 15 minutes for an audience of one. Sign up for a time slot when you purchase your ticket. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your performance time. Walk up sales are cash only.

Bryn Mawr College: FREE

Taft Garden at Bryn Mawr College
Between Goodhart Hall and Canaday Library
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

At Bryn Mawr College, tickets will not be reserved in advance. Sign up in person in Taft Garden on a first-come, first-served basis.

Created by Tania El Khoury Performed by Basel Zaraa Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production), and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet)

Photos Tania El Khoury (except where indicated), Nada Zgank

Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

 

Festival Co-Producers: Lynne & Bertram Strieb


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

In “Defiance,” which features in As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, Basel Zaraa raps in Arabic:

Crossing the border means leaving behind a 75% chance of death
Not from random shelling, barrel bombs, or even whippings
You enter, and just like everyone else, you nod your head
With each rejection
Say what you like, but all this won’t cost you more than $1000
Don’t ask me why or for what
Half of it bribes for the army and the police in Turkey
And the rest to live on and for the guys to get drunk with
Then it’s just your luck with the sea
In short, you either beat it, or it beats you
This part will also cost you $1000
In the boats, all the faces are stressed
Holding their breaths
Bracing their wounds
They’ve heard so much gunfire
They no longer feel anything
They no longer feel anything

Writing about As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, art critic Lyn Garder explained in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way — as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me. For the next few days I will carry it around with me. It is part of me, not easily ignored or washed away. Every time I roll up my sleeves or wash my hands I am confronted by the images and rerun Zaraa’s story in my mind. I can’t get away from it.” Read more here

Journalist Lorna Irvine wrote in The List, “Every single delicate stroke of the pen’s nib carries weight — each figure inked onto skin represents the fight for survival, a symbol of solidarity, and the music is elegiac yet defiant, a beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day. And unlike the ink across the forearm, these struggles can never be erased.” Read more here

Gardens Speak

Posted September 22nd, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Posted September 22nd, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way—as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do—it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

“Trust is inherent to As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Both on Basel’s part and mine. He entrusted me with his story, and I entrusted him with my body for that short period. It was an exchange that has left me reeling.”  Kaila Schedeen, Fusebox Festival

Photo by Nada Zgank

This 12-minute, one-on-one installation performance is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms and fingertips touch without them seeing each other. The refugee marks the audience member with the story of a family’s journey from Syria to Sweden as the audience member listens on headphones to those who have challenged border discrimination. When the performance ends, those stories can be kept or washed away.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is made in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who is from Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria. Tania El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track us. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. In today’s world, a refugee’s journey can continue as far as their fingertips take them. 

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Pii Gallery: $15

242 Race Street
Old City

Performances begin every 15 minutes for an audience of one. Sign up for a time slot when you purchase your ticket. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your performance time. Walk up sales are cash only.

Bryn Mawr College: FREE

Taft Garden at Bryn Mawr College
Between Goodhart Hall and Canaday Library
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

At Bryn Mawr College, tickets will not be reserved in advance. Sign up in person in Taft Garden on a first-come, first-served basis.

Created by Tania El Khoury Performed by Basel Zaraa Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production), and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet)

Photos Tania El Khoury (except where indicated), Nada Zgank

Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

 

Festival Co-Producers: Lynne & Bertram Strieb


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

In “Defiance,” which features in As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, Basel Zaraa raps in Arabic:

Crossing the border means leaving behind a 75% chance of death
Not from random shelling, barrel bombs, or even whippings
You enter, and just like everyone else, you nod your head
With each rejection
Say what you like, but all this won’t cost you more than $1000
Don’t ask me why or for what
Half of it bribes for the army and the police in Turkey
And the rest to live on and for the guys to get drunk with
Then it’s just your luck with the sea
In short, you either beat it, or it beats you
This part will also cost you $1000
In the boats, all the faces are stressed
Holding their breaths
Bracing their wounds
They’ve heard so much gunfire
They no longer feel anything
They no longer feel anything

Writing about As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, art critic Lyn Garder explained in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way — as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me. For the next few days I will carry it around with me. It is part of me, not easily ignored or washed away. Every time I roll up my sleeves or wash my hands I am confronted by the images and rerun Zaraa’s story in my mind. I can’t get away from it.” Read more here

Journalist Lorna Irvine wrote in The List, “Every single delicate stroke of the pen’s nib carries weight — each figure inked onto skin represents the fight for survival, a symbol of solidarity, and the music is elegiac yet defiant, a beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day. And unlike the ink across the forearm, these struggles can never be erased.” Read more here

Gardens Speak

Posted September 21st, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Posted September 21st, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way—as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do—it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

“Trust is inherent to As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Both on Basel’s part and mine. He entrusted me with his story, and I entrusted him with my body for that short period. It was an exchange that has left me reeling.”  Kaila Schedeen, Fusebox Festival

Photo by Nada Zgank

This 12-minute, one-on-one installation performance is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms and fingertips touch without them seeing each other. The refugee marks the audience member with the story of a family’s journey from Syria to Sweden as the audience member listens on headphones to those who have challenged border discrimination. When the performance ends, those stories can be kept or washed away.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is made in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who is from Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria. Tania El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track us. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. In today’s world, a refugee’s journey can continue as far as their fingertips take them. 

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Pii Gallery: $15

242 Race Street
Old City

Performances begin every 15 minutes for an audience of one. Sign up for a time slot when you purchase your ticket. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your performance time. Walk up sales are cash only.

Bryn Mawr College: FREE

Taft Garden at Bryn Mawr College
Between Goodhart Hall and Canaday Library
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

At Bryn Mawr College, tickets will not be reserved in advance. Sign up in person in Taft Garden on a first-come, first-served basis.

Created by Tania El Khoury Performed by Basel Zaraa Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production), and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet)

Photos Tania El Khoury (except where indicated), Nada Zgank

Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

 

Festival Co-Producers: Lynne & Bertram Strieb


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

In “Defiance,” which features in As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, Basel Zaraa raps in Arabic:

Crossing the border means leaving behind a 75% chance of death
Not from random shelling, barrel bombs, or even whippings
You enter, and just like everyone else, you nod your head
With each rejection
Say what you like, but all this won’t cost you more than $1000
Don’t ask me why or for what
Half of it bribes for the army and the police in Turkey
And the rest to live on and for the guys to get drunk with
Then it’s just your luck with the sea
In short, you either beat it, or it beats you
This part will also cost you $1000
In the boats, all the faces are stressed
Holding their breaths
Bracing their wounds
They’ve heard so much gunfire
They no longer feel anything
They no longer feel anything

Writing about As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, art critic Lyn Garder explained in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way — as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me. For the next few days I will carry it around with me. It is part of me, not easily ignored or washed away. Every time I roll up my sleeves or wash my hands I am confronted by the images and rerun Zaraa’s story in my mind. I can’t get away from it.” Read more here

Journalist Lorna Irvine wrote in The List, “Every single delicate stroke of the pen’s nib carries weight — each figure inked onto skin represents the fight for survival, a symbol of solidarity, and the music is elegiac yet defiant, a beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day. And unlike the ink across the forearm, these struggles can never be erased.” Read more here

Gardens Speak

Posted September 20th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Posted September 20th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way—as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do—it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

“Trust is inherent to As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Both on Basel’s part and mine. He entrusted me with his story, and I entrusted him with my body for that short period. It was an exchange that has left me reeling.”  Kaila Schedeen, Fusebox Festival

Photo by Nada Zgank

This 12-minute, one-on-one installation performance is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms and fingertips touch without them seeing each other. The refugee marks the audience member with the story of a family’s journey from Syria to Sweden as the audience member listens on headphones to those who have challenged border discrimination. When the performance ends, those stories can be kept or washed away.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is made in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who is from Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria. Tania El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track us. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. In today’s world, a refugee’s journey can continue as far as their fingertips take them. 

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Pii Gallery: $15

242 Race Street
Old City

Performances begin every 15 minutes for an audience of one. Sign up for a time slot when you purchase your ticket. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your performance time. Walk up sales are cash only.

Bryn Mawr College: FREE

Taft Garden at Bryn Mawr College
Between Goodhart Hall and Canaday Library
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

At Bryn Mawr College, tickets will not be reserved in advance. Sign up in person in Taft Garden on a first-come, first-served basis.

Created by Tania El Khoury Performed by Basel Zaraa Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production), and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet)

Photos Tania El Khoury (except where indicated), Nada Zgank

Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

 

Festival Co-Producers: Lynne & Bertram Strieb


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

In “Defiance,” which features in As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, Basel Zaraa raps in Arabic:

Crossing the border means leaving behind a 75% chance of death
Not from random shelling, barrel bombs, or even whippings
You enter, and just like everyone else, you nod your head
With each rejection
Say what you like, but all this won’t cost you more than $1000
Don’t ask me why or for what
Half of it bribes for the army and the police in Turkey
And the rest to live on and for the guys to get drunk with
Then it’s just your luck with the sea
In short, you either beat it, or it beats you
This part will also cost you $1000
In the boats, all the faces are stressed
Holding their breaths
Bracing their wounds
They’ve heard so much gunfire
They no longer feel anything
They no longer feel anything

Writing about As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, art critic Lyn Garder explained in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way — as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me. For the next few days I will carry it around with me. It is part of me, not easily ignored or washed away. Every time I roll up my sleeves or wash my hands I am confronted by the images and rerun Zaraa’s story in my mind. I can’t get away from it.” Read more here

Journalist Lorna Irvine wrote in The List, “Every single delicate stroke of the pen’s nib carries weight — each figure inked onto skin represents the fight for survival, a symbol of solidarity, and the music is elegiac yet defiant, a beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day. And unlike the ink across the forearm, these struggles can never be erased.” Read more here

Gardens Speak

Posted September 19th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Posted September 19th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way—as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do—it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

“Trust is inherent to As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Both on Basel’s part and mine. He entrusted me with his story, and I entrusted him with my body for that short period. It was an exchange that has left me reeling.”  Kaila Schedeen, Fusebox Festival

Photo by Nada Zgank

This 12-minute, one-on-one installation performance is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms and fingertips touch without them seeing each other. The refugee marks the audience member with the story of a family’s journey from Syria to Sweden as the audience member listens on headphones to those who have challenged border discrimination. When the performance ends, those stories can be kept or washed away.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is made in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who is from Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria. Tania El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track us. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. In today’s world, a refugee’s journey can continue as far as their fingertips take them. 

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Pii Gallery: $15

242 Race Street
Old City

Performances begin every 15 minutes for an audience of one. Sign up for a time slot when you purchase your ticket. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your performance time. Walk up sales are cash only.

Bryn Mawr College: FREE

Taft Garden at Bryn Mawr College
Between Goodhart Hall and Canaday Library
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

At Bryn Mawr College, tickets will not be reserved in advance. Sign up in person in Taft Garden on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here for a map to help you navigate the works on Bryn Mawr’s campus.

Created by Tania El Khoury Performed by Basel Zaraa Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production), and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet)

Photos Tania El Khoury (except where indicated), Nada Zgank

Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

 

Festival Co-Producers: Lynne & Bertram Strieb


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

In “Defiance,” which features in As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, Basel Zaraa raps in Arabic:

Crossing the border means leaving behind a 75% chance of death
Not from random shelling, barrel bombs, or even whippings
You enter, and just like everyone else, you nod your head
With each rejection
Say what you like, but all this won’t cost you more than $1000
Don’t ask me why or for what
Half of it bribes for the army and the police in Turkey
And the rest to live on and for the guys to get drunk with
Then it’s just your luck with the sea
In short, you either beat it, or it beats you
This part will also cost you $1000
In the boats, all the faces are stressed
Holding their breaths
Bracing their wounds
They’ve heard so much gunfire
They no longer feel anything
They no longer feel anything

Writing about As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, art critic Lyn Garder explained in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way — as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me. For the next few days I will carry it around with me. It is part of me, not easily ignored or washed away. Every time I roll up my sleeves or wash my hands I am confronted by the images and rerun Zaraa’s story in my mind. I can’t get away from it.” Read more here

Journalist Lorna Irvine wrote in The List, “Every single delicate stroke of the pen’s nib carries weight — each figure inked onto skin represents the fight for survival, a symbol of solidarity, and the music is elegiac yet defiant, a beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day. And unlike the ink across the forearm, these struggles can never be erased.” Read more here

Stories of Refuge

Posted September 19th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“The videos produced as part of the Stories of Refuge project are not only a recording of the participants’ oral histories, but also a representation of their own lives through their own lenses. Hiding their identity, the participants chose to represent their lives through their voices, their choice of material to shoot in their intimate spaces, and numerous intentional omissions.” Tania El Khoury

“We want freedom. We want nothing but freedom.” Participant in Stories of Refuge project

Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in 2011, refugees have been fleeing the brutality of the Assad regime and searching for new destinations, Munich being one of them. Many asylum seekers arrive by land, crossing unofficial borders, through successive European countries.

Tania El Khoury and Petra Serhal from Beirut-based Dictaphone Group collaborated with a group of Syrian refugees who had recently arrived in Munich. They provided each person with a discreet camera for a day, the only instructions being to film their lives in Munich and their favourite spots in the city. Interviews with the refugees work as a soundscape over the footage they created. Audiences engage with the films from metal bunk beds, outfitted with mattresses and pillows.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

FREE
Gallery Hours 11am–5pm
Wednesday–Saturday

Video Installation by Dictaphone Group (2013) Concept and Video Editing Tania El Khoury Devised with Petra Serhal Videos filmed by anonymous asylum seekers Commissioned by Spielart Festival

Photos Tania El Khoury

Stories of Refuge is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. 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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Stories of Refuge: Oral Histories of Syrian Asylum Seekers in Germany by Tania El Khoury, Jadaliyya

Excerpt: Although I had suggested a few “beauty shots” to the participants, none of them showed interest in such suggestions.  They all ended up producing videos that look like the thousands of YouTube videos that came out of Syria since the start of the uprising—often filmed by ordinary people using phone cameras.

Read the full article

Gardens Speak

Posted September 16th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Posted September 16th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way—as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do—it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

“Trust is inherent to As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Both on Basel’s part and mine. He entrusted me with his story, and I entrusted him with my body for that short period. It was an exchange that has left me reeling.”  Kaila Schedeen, Fusebox Festival

Photo by Nada Zgank

This 12-minute, one-on-one installation performance is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms and fingertips touch without them seeing each other. The refugee marks the audience member with the story of a family’s journey from Syria to Sweden as the audience member listens on headphones to those who have challenged border discrimination. When the performance ends, those stories can be kept or washed away.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is made in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who is from Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria. Tania El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track us. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. In today’s world, a refugee’s journey can continue as far as their fingertips take them. 

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Pii Gallery: $15

242 Race Street
Old City

Performances begin every 15 minutes for an audience of one. Sign up for a time slot when you purchase your ticket. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your performance time. Walk up sales are cash only.

Bryn Mawr College: FREE

Taft Garden at Bryn Mawr College
Between Goodhart Hall and Canaday Library
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

At Bryn Mawr College, tickets will not be reserved in advance. Sign up in person in Taft Garden on a first-come, first-served basis.

Created by Tania El Khoury Performed by Basel Zaraa Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production), and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet)

Photos Tania El Khoury (except where indicated), Nada Zgank

Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

 

Festival Co-Producers: Lynne & Bertram Strieb


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

In “Defiance,” which features in As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, Basel Zaraa raps in Arabic:

Crossing the border means leaving behind a 75% chance of death
Not from random shelling, barrel bombs, or even whippings
You enter, and just like everyone else, you nod your head
With each rejection
Say what you like, but all this won’t cost you more than $1000
Don’t ask me why or for what
Half of it bribes for the army and the police in Turkey
And the rest to live on and for the guys to get drunk with
Then it’s just your luck with the sea
In short, you either beat it, or it beats you
This part will also cost you $1000
In the boats, all the faces are stressed
Holding their breaths
Bracing their wounds
They’ve heard so much gunfire
They no longer feel anything
They no longer feel anything

Writing about As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, art critic Lyn Garder explained in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way — as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me. For the next few days I will carry it around with me. It is part of me, not easily ignored or washed away. Every time I roll up my sleeves or wash my hands I am confronted by the images and rerun Zaraa’s story in my mind. I can’t get away from it.” Read more here

Journalist Lorna Irvine wrote in The List, “Every single delicate stroke of the pen’s nib carries weight — each figure inked onto skin represents the fight for survival, a symbol of solidarity, and the music is elegiac yet defiant, a beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day. And unlike the ink across the forearm, these struggles can never be erased.” Read more here

Gardens Speak

Posted September 15th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Posted September 15th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way—as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do—it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

“Trust is inherent to As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Both on Basel’s part and mine. He entrusted me with his story, and I entrusted him with my body for that short period. It was an exchange that has left me reeling.”  Kaila Schedeen, Fusebox Festival

Photo by Nada Zgank

This 12-minute, one-on-one installation performance is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms and fingertips touch without them seeing each other. The refugee marks the audience member with the story of a family’s journey from Syria to Sweden as the audience member listens on headphones to those who have challenged border discrimination. When the performance ends, those stories can be kept or washed away.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is made in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who is from Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria. Tania El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track us. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. In today’s world, a refugee’s journey can continue as far as their fingertips take them. 

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Pii Gallery: $15

242 Race Street
Old City

Performances begin every 15 minutes for an audience of one. Sign up for a time slot when you purchase your ticket. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your performance time. Walk up sales are cash only.

Bryn Mawr College: FREE

Taft Garden at Bryn Mawr College
Between Goodhart Hall and Canaday Library
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

At Bryn Mawr College, tickets will not be reserved in advance. Sign up in person in Taft Garden on a first-come, first-served basis.

Created by Tania El Khoury Performed by Basel Zaraa Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production), and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet)

Photos Tania El Khoury (except where indicated), Nada Zgank

Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

 

Festival Co-Producers: Lynne & Bertram Strieb


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

In “Defiance,” which features in As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, Basel Zaraa raps in Arabic:

Crossing the border means leaving behind a 75% chance of death
Not from random shelling, barrel bombs, or even whippings
You enter, and just like everyone else, you nod your head
With each rejection
Say what you like, but all this won’t cost you more than $1000
Don’t ask me why or for what
Half of it bribes for the army and the police in Turkey
And the rest to live on and for the guys to get drunk with
Then it’s just your luck with the sea
In short, you either beat it, or it beats you
This part will also cost you $1000
In the boats, all the faces are stressed
Holding their breaths
Bracing their wounds
They’ve heard so much gunfire
They no longer feel anything
They no longer feel anything

Writing about As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, art critic Lyn Garder explained in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way — as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me. For the next few days I will carry it around with me. It is part of me, not easily ignored or washed away. Every time I roll up my sleeves or wash my hands I am confronted by the images and rerun Zaraa’s story in my mind. I can’t get away from it.” Read more here

Journalist Lorna Irvine wrote in The List, “Every single delicate stroke of the pen’s nib carries weight — each figure inked onto skin represents the fight for survival, a symbol of solidarity, and the music is elegiac yet defiant, a beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day. And unlike the ink across the forearm, these struggles can never be erased.” Read more here

Gardens Speak

Posted September 14th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

How to Fringe This Weekend

Posted September 14th, 2018

We’ve had one week of Fringe, how do you feel? FringeArts Blog is tired, hungry, happy, a little bit overwhelmed by all the great shows we’ve seen. But for many performers, Fringe is just getting started. The 2018 Fringe Festival enters its middle weekend with an unrivaled line-up of world-class contemporary performances.

Here’s some of the great work we’re trying to see this weekend.

Caen Amour
Trajall Harrell
Arising from performances at the World’s Fairs of 19th-century Europe and America, the hoochie-coochie presented bastardized, titillating versions of Middle Eastern dance. Informed by the ritualized moves of dance-floor voguing and the Japanese dance-theater tradition of butoh, Caen Amour explores the line between artistic and erotic dance of the past, and imagines how erotic dancing of previous eras would look today, exoticism and spectacle remaining intact. Choreographer Trajal Harrell returns to the Fringe Festival with a performance piece that invites the viewer to step into an unexplored historical imagination.
September 14 at 7pm + 9pm
September 15 at 5pm + 7pm
More info + tickets

The undergird
Meg Foley
Choreographer Meg Foley’s seven-year development of improvisational performance practice culminates in a viscerally affecting four-person work about death and grief as bodily experiences. The undergird is a love letter to what we think has been lost. It is a rhythmic and persistent celebration of where memory and imagination live inside the body and how they are remade real through moving ritual.
September 14 at 6pm + 9pm
September 15 at 3:30pm + 6pm
September 16 at 3:30pm
More info + tickets

Read More

Gardens Speak

Posted September 13th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times

“I like the idea of putting your ear to the ground and hearing the stories that normally go unrecorded and unheard.” Tania El Khoury

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the ongoing uprising against the regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

$20 general

Performances on September 15 at 3pm and 4pm will be in Arabic.

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down and have contact with soil. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

If a performance is sold out, please contact the Arts Office at Bryn Mawr College at 610-526-5210 or reservations@brynmawr.edu to inquire about additional availability.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Salame Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording & Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Photos Jesse Hunniford (featured); Tania El Khoury (above)

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

 

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia.) Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

Gardens Speak: the sound installation unearthing Syria’s backyard tragedies by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Excerpt:
Gardens Speak uncovers not fragments of bones but fragments of stories: the reconstructed oral histories of the men and women who are buried not in public cemeteries, but in the back gardens of ordinary Syrian homes. These people really do speak to us from beyond the grave.

Read the full article

 

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Posted September 13th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistFurther Reading

“His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way—as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do—it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

“Trust is inherent to As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Both on Basel’s part and mine. He entrusted me with his story, and I entrusted him with my body for that short period. It was an exchange that has left me reeling.”  Kaila Schedeen, Fusebox Festival

Photo by Nada Zgank

This 12-minute, one-on-one installation performance is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms and fingertips touch without them seeing each other. The refugee marks the audience member with the story of a family’s journey from Syria to Sweden as the audience member listens on headphones to those who have challenged border discrimination. When the performance ends, those stories can be kept or washed away.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is made in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who is from Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria. Tania El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track us. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. In today’s world, a refugee’s journey can continue as far as their fingertips take them. 

Presented in partnership with Bryn Mawr College as part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

Pii Gallery: $15

242 Race Street
Old City

Performances begin every 15 minutes for an audience of one. Sign up for a time slot when you purchase your ticket. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your performance time. Walk up sales are cash only.

Bryn Mawr College: FREE

Taft Garden at Bryn Mawr College
Between Goodhart Hall and Canaday Library
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

At Bryn Mawr College, tickets will not be reserved in advance. Sign up in person in Taft Garden on a first-come, first-served basis.

Created by Tania El Khoury Performed by Basel Zaraa Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production), and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet)

Photos Tania El Khoury (except where indicated), Nada Zgank

Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is part of ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury. Major support for ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

 

Festival Co-Producers: Lynne & Bertram Strieb


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 taniaelkhoury.com.


Further Reading

In “Defiance,” which features in As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, Basel Zaraa raps in Arabic:

Crossing the border means leaving behind a 75% chance of death
Not from random shelling, barrel bombs, or even whippings
You enter, and just like everyone else, you nod your head
With each rejection
Say what you like, but all this won’t cost you more than $1000
Don’t ask me why or for what
Half of it bribes for the army and the police in Turkey
And the rest to live on and for the guys to get drunk with
Then it’s just your luck with the sea
In short, you either beat it, or it beats you
This part will also cost you $1000
In the boats, all the faces are stressed
Holding their breaths
Bracing their wounds
They’ve heard so much gunfire
They no longer feel anything
They no longer feel anything

Writing about As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, art critic Lyn Garder explained in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way — as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me. For the next few days I will carry it around with me. It is part of me, not easily ignored or washed away. Every time I roll up my sleeves or wash my hands I am confronted by the images and rerun Zaraa’s story in my mind. I can’t get away from it.” Read more here

Journalist Lorna Irvine wrote in The List, “Every single delicate stroke of the pen’s nib carries weight — each figure inked onto skin represents the fight for survival, a symbol of solidarity, and the music is elegiac yet defiant, a beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day. And unlike the ink across the forearm, these struggles can never be erased.” Read more here