Free Advice (2015)
Since the beginning of the Israeli military occupation in Palestine and the launch of the liberation movement, Palestinian intellectuals and artists have been present, active, creative and sometimes change spurring from within the movement: like for instance poet Mahmoud Darwish, caricaturist Naji El Ali, painter Sliman Mansour and Sareyyet Ramallah Dance Company. Now that the shape of the liberation movement has transformed into new forms, from popular and armed resistance to boycott campagins and diplomatic efforts, the role of intellectuals and artists has been changing as well. For that reason Palestinian intellectuals and artists, including myself, have been constantly investigating this transformation, trying to find their place in it through daily artistic practice.
In ‘Free Advice’ solo, I looked for interaction with ordinary people during the creation period already, to investigate my relationship - as an artist- with the society I live in. I went to the streets of Ramallah, Vienna, Budapest and Providence with a ‘Free Advice’ sign to open a dialogue and exchange advices with passersby. These dialogues made me understand that the people concerns are collective, but seemed to them quite individual. In Palestine, people mainly asked advices related to social pressure, traditions, and the unbearable political situation. In Europe, people were looking for ways to be happy and find a better job. I brought all these collective concerns to the studio and transformed them into an interactive dance performance, to continue the dialogue started on the streets, in the performative space.
Dance and choreography: Farah Saleh
Video artists: Zina Zarour and Sari Hammouri
Cameraman in Vienna: Anselm Troster
This work was possible thanks to:
the Artists-in-Residence programme of the Federal
Chancellery (BKA), KulturKontakt Austria and
The Movement Exchange (Pawtucket) March 2015, Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival (Ramallah) April 2015, Al Balad Theater (Amman) April 2015, Tanzquartier (Vienna) May 2015, La Corte dei Miracoli (Siena) May 2015, Forest Fringe (Edinburgh) August 2015, Granoff Center (Providence) September 2015, University of the Arts (Stockholm) January 2016 and New York Live Arts (New York) March 2016, Hostscena Festival (Alesund) Sep 2017.