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Posts Tagged ‘Stories of Refuge’

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

Fringe Shows After the Fringe

Posted September 24th, 2018

The Fringe is over, long live the Fringe.

Though the 2018 Fringe Festival officially concluded yesterday, there are still numerous chances to see some Fringe this week. Here’s a selection of the continuing shows:

Humans 
Circa
Ten highly-skilled acrobats, a bare stage, and a stirring journey of what it means to be human. Straddling the borders between circus arts, theater, and contemporary dance, Australia’s bold contemporary circus troupe Circa explores the expressive possibilities of the human body at its extremes.
Presented with Annenberg Center Live and NextMove Dance.
September 28 at 8pm
September 29 at 2pm
More info + tickets

Stories of Refuge
Tania El Khoury
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.
September 26-29 during gallery hours 11am–5pm
More info

Read More

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

“I’ve lost everything but I managed to save my life”: New Video of Stories of Refuge

Posted September 12th, 2018

Tania El Khoury and Petra Serhal from Beirut-based Dictaphone Group collaborated with a group of Syrian refugees who had recently arrived in Munich, Germany, fleeing the Assad regime and the violence engulfing the country. 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. The resulting interactive installation, Stories of Refuge is on display this month at Twelve Gates Arts as part of the Fringe Festival show ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury.

On opening weekend, videographer Dave Tavani visited the installation to record interviews with some audience members and footage as they experienced the intimate, affecting work.

Read More

Stories of Refuge

Posted September 12th, 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

Stories of Refuge

Posted September 6th, 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

International Fringe 2018: A Welcome to Artists from Around the World

Posted September 2nd, 2018

The United States government may be pursuing an isolationist policy but the Philadelphia Fringe is doing the opposite: opening its doors not only to the most creative American performers and performances but also to the best and most creative theater artists and their productions from around the world—overcoming the ancient fear of the symbolic Tower of Babel with people not understanding each other.

To show the worldwide scope of the 22nd Philadelphia Fringe Festival, we offer this spotlight on performers from abroad and productions by American artists that present a global perspective.

Theater writer Henrik Eger, editor of Drama Around the Globe and contributor to Phindie and Broad Street Review, among other publications, has lived in six countries on three continents and has visited Africa and Australia as well. He bids everyone a hearty WELCOME to the City of Brotherly Love—this year in 18 different languages: Arabic, Celtic, Chinese, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Latin, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish.

We start this year’s overview with a special welcome to two programs featuring a wide range of global creators:

INTERNATIONAL CREATIVES

  1. le super grandBienvenue & welcome to Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard and Le Super Grand ContinentalLe Grand Continental wowed audiences during its run at the 2012 Fringe Festival and has garnered enthusiastic response across the world. Fully realizing a blissful marriage between the pure delight of line dancing and the fluidity and expressiveness of contemporary dance, the celebratory event enlists hundreds of local people to perform its synchronized choreography in large-scale public performances. The world’s most infectious performance event returns to the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in an even larger spectacle of dance.

More info and tickets here

  1. Bonvenon, willkommen, bienvenido, witamy, bienvenue & welcome to Do You Want A Cookie? from The Bearded Ladies Cabaret—a world premiere with an international cast. Do You Want A Cookie? serves up a delicious romp through cabaret history, with an international cast of artists performing a live revue of cabaret from the Chat Noir to Weimar nightlife to 21st-century drag. The all-star cast comes draws from around the world, including Bridge Markland (Berlin), Malgorzata Kasprzycka (Paris/Warsaw), Dieter Rita Scholl (Berlin), and Tareke Ortiz (Mexico City).

More info and tickets here

REFUGEES and EXILES

  1. ear whispered

    As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Photo by

    وسهلا اهلا (ahlaan wasahlan) & bienvenu. Welcome to Tania El Khoury who lives in Lebanon and the UK with her multifaceted program ear-whispered. Little is known about Palestinian refugee camps and their communities. El Khoury presents her Fringe work in five parts through interactive performances and installations at Bryn Mawr College:

    1. Gardens Speak, an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.
    2. Camp Pause, a video installation that tells the stories of four residents of the Rashidieh Refugee Camp on the coast of Lebanon. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.
    3. As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, an encounter through a gallery wall between a single audience member and a refugee. (Old City & Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.  
    4. Stories of Refuge, an immersive video installation that invites audiences to lay down on metal bunk beds and watch videos shot by Syrian asylum seekers in Munich, Germany. (Old City.) Read more.
    5. Tell Me What I Can Do, a newly commissioned work featuring letters that audiences have written in response to Gardens Speak. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.

More info and tickets here

  1. Bienvenido & welcome to the bilingual (Spanish & English) cast of La Fábrica performing Gustave Ott’s Passport. Lost in a foreign country, Eugenia is detained and thrown into a vicious maelstrom of miscommunication. This poetic and immersive Kafkaesque thriller delves into the question of immigration—exposing the mechanics of language and power. Some performances will be presented in English, some in Spanish, and some will be decided at the toss of a coin.

More info and tickets here

Read More

Stories of Refuge: Oral Histories of Syrian Asylum Seekers in Germany

Posted September 1st, 2018

In Munich recently, I found myself sitting in an Iraqi-owned café with three Syrian men. The first was a young businessman who spends much of his time, money, and energy helping Syrian refugees in Munich and sending aid to Syria. Second, there was a young poet who called himself “the poet of the revolution” and had several YouTube videos of him reciting his poems. The third person was a young man who just arrived in town, and was living in a “refugee camp” known as the “Yellow Camp.” The camp is actually a messy building with many small rooms where German authorities randomly group/house Syrian and non-Syrian refugees together. It literally serves as a systemic shock to people who for months dreamt of reaching Germany—the supposed land of the free, caring, and civilized. I was most interested in the story of the young man who had arrived to Munich. I wanted to give him a camera so he could film a day in his life living in the “refugee camp” in Munich. He seemed shy, did not want to jeopardize his residency application, and preferred to remain quiet. I assured him that his identity would remain confidential. He said that he worries about his parents who are still in Syria, and so chose to not participate.

An audience member sitting on a bunk bed and watching one of the videos in the installation.

The next day, I met a Kurdish Syrian man who was tortured by each of the Lebanese, Syrian, and Greek police because he happened to look like Hussam Hussam—a “false witness” in the international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. It felt surreal to me that he manages to keep smiling and remain positive. He spends his time outside his normal working hours volunteering as a translator for Syrian refugees while putting human rights organizations in contact with various asylum seekers. Through him, I was introduced to three different individuals who would participate in what would become the Stories of Refuge project:

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

Posted July 24th, 2018

In Tania El Khoury’s immersive installation and theater piece Gardens Speak, 2014, audience members put on raincoats and enter a cemetery where they are given a card written with an Arabic name. Matching it to a tombstone, they lie in soft graves of dirt, ear to the ground, and listen to a story whispered from beneath the soil, told by the dead themselves. If they wish, they can leave a note in response, folded and buried.

These narratives are reconstructed from the families and friends of the deceased, all of whom were dissidents of President Assad who were killed during the uprising in Syria and buried in home or community gardens. Syrian cemeteries are often too full, and large funerals became potential regime targets, putting grieving families at risk. Gardens Speak was developed in 2014, a response to the struggle against Assad’s dictatorship and the collaborative, protective relationship between the living and the dead. Piecing these histories together, El Khoury renders physical the idea that the ground beneath our feet contains multitudinous, literal lives.

Born in Lebanon, El Khoury is based between London and Beirut, where she cofounded the performance collaborative Dictaphone Group. During this year’s Miami Art Week at the Fillmore Miami Beach, and as presented by MDC Live Arts, she will share Gardens Speak and As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, 2017, another participatory project. [These works are presented in the series ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury as part of the 2018 Fringe Festival.] Here, audience members allow their arms to be drawn upon by El Khoury’s collaborator, Basel Zaraa, who remains unseen behind a wall. I understand listening and touching as their own kind of dissidence, as both art form and intentional practice. Horror and confusion on a mass scale are heartbreaking, then numbing; it is easier to understand sociopolitical upheaval when you are connected, heart-to-heart, to another story.

— Monica Uszerowicz

Monica Uszerowicz: You developed Gardens Speak in 2014. Americans have the forced context of both Trump and new refugee crises through which to view seemingly everything. How has the project’s meaning grown for you since its original impetus, if at all?

Tania El Khoury: I see Gardens Speak in the political context of Syria rather than the American context. What the piece does now, almost four years later, is remind us that what we perceive as a “war” in Syria started as a legitimate and popular uprising against a four-decade-long dictatorship. It also reminds us of the root of the displacement of Syrians, which we’ve been witnessing in the form of large numbers of refugees. The stories in Gardens Speak speak volumes about the responsibility of the Syrian regime in turning a peaceful uprising into a violent war, and in displacing people locally and internationally.

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