Isthmus | Barzakh
Barzakh, the loose translation of Isthmus in Arabic, is the barrier between two things. It is also the place that stands in between earth and the afterlife from the moment of death and until judgment, for (s)he whom has passed shall enter into a timeless and placeless space, where “No living being says to the dead: be me”. Many questions trouble the mind of human beings, from the thought of existence and being through to the end of life, or death, passing through time and the attempt to determine it. Humans are born into a world of experiences that begin and end, while the sole constant is time – never stopping, even with the sudden stop of a human being’s heartbeat. The event in this theatre performance is the moment that is built upon through a situation. And this situation is focused on an accident that has pushed the actress (Roaa Bzeih) into the realm of the Isthmus – from one space of time into another – where she was revived after 35-minute of resuscitation due to a cessation of a heartbeat as a result of a tragic car accident that almost took her life. TEAM Artistic vision and Directed by: Jad Hakawati Performed by: Roaa Bzeih Text : Jad Hakawati and Roaa Bzeih Video: Antoine Meyer Scenography: Jad Hakawati Lighting design: Hagop Derghougassian Sound design & music: Rabih Salamé (Oud) & Sary Moussa Poster & design of print material: Karim Farah Press & social-media: Be:Kult This performance is produced with a grant by Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy / Culture Resource.
The Sunflower Theatre – Beirut
MINWAL was established in Saida in the year 2014. Its scope of work covers writing, directing, and performing several theatre creations in addition to implementing several educational projects. The decision to base its center of work in the heart of Saida, South of the Lebanese capital Beirut was and remains key in the dialogue that we create between art and the general public. MINWAL Theatre Company aims to revive theatre productions and open up opportunities for establishing theatre troupes to enrich the cultural life in Lebanon. We find that activating regions in Lebanon culturally and artistically is the key to recover the concern of decentralizing cultural life – while also integrating Lebanese youth in cultural engagement, since we feel there’s a lack of creative outlets for this specific generation. In addition, we aim to create a space where they may express themselves, and learn about performing arts and the possibility to implement their own thoughts, inspirations, and concerns away from social and geographic borders. Additionally, the empowerment of performing arts through community institutions as a main catalyst by tackling modern research and inquiries with other humanistic fields of sociology, anthropology etc. allows the performing arts to create intersections between the community institutions. And thus, enhancing individualism and collectivism of the civil society is at the forefront of MINWAL’s work.
Photo by: Haquim Khouzam
This post is part of a series of profiles on performance and performance makers from this year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2016, an overview of contemporary performance presented during the 2014/2015 season available for touring now. If you would like to be apart of next year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2017, you can join the project here.