La même (2016)

 

La même reflects on how veiled women are perceived by secular communities in the Middle East and in the West. Based on our experience, family relationships and friendship with veiled women in Palestine and in the West, the performance explores the tension between representation and reality. We tackle desires and fears of veiled women and solutions they find for their problems, which are the same of any other woman. By doing so, we do not aim to express our approval for the Islamization of our societies. Nevertheless, we invite to look behind the veil.

Our performance was developed during the month and half after the recent bombings in Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus and Paris (Nov 2015), when more and more people equated terrorism with Islam, and discrimination against veiled women increased both in the West and among secular Arabs. We were particularly inspired by the series of pictures by photographer Boushra Almutawakel, which we are attaching to this application and accompanied our production process. Her images show the evolution from moderate to more conservative ways of wearing the veil in Yemen; tackle the ambivalent meaning of the veil: “convenience, freedom, strength, power, liberation, limitations, danger, humor, irony, variety, cultural, social, and religious aspects, as well as beauty, mystery, and protection,” to use her own words; and challenge the stereotypes of veiled women as weak, oppressed, backwards and lately terrorist. We transformed the concept behind the still pictures into a live performance adding to it our own experience and thoughts in the Palestinian context, while intertwining pedestrian gestures and sounds from to the Arab World with more universal contemporary dance and music.

 

 

Credits 

Dance and choreography 

Farah Saleh and Salma Ataya

Music

Balle Populaire - Map, Carmen Act 2 - Bizet

Supported by

Sareyyet Ramallah and Palest’In

and Out Festival

Performances

                                                                       

Maison de la Poesie (Paris) July 2016                                                                                          

Sareyyet Ramallah (Ramallah) August 2016          ©Ahmad Odeh 

Theater Spektakel Festival (Zurich) August 2016

Territori Festival (Bellinzona) July 2017

The Fringe Festival (Edinbrugh) August 2017.

             

                                                                         

© Farah Saleh 2017. All rights reserved.