At Home in Gaza and London
Station House Opera
At Home in Gaza and London creates a mutual performance space for participants in two locations separated by great political, economic and physical divides. Using live video-streaming and other technologies,
the artists occupy each other's homes, streets and other social spaces. Sharing their everyday behaviour and concerns, they dissolve into each other or become ghostly protagonists in the drama. Using contemporary mobile technologies we are able to connect one of the most inaccessible places on earth live with an international audience.
Focused primarily on the situation of the people of Gaza and their relation to the inaccessible outside world, the piece explores what it means to produce a piece of theatre that is relevant and challenging in two different cultures.
At Home in Gaza and London opens a new way for artists to engage with each other in different places across the world, allowing audiences to participate, while eliciting a direct and personal response to the problems of Gaza and its isolation.
The project explores the survival tactics, creative impulses and coping mechanisms that sustain those living in Gaza, while at the same time celebrating a temporary release via the technological innovation of a working space, a playing space, without borders.
The project began in 2015 with a LIFT Utopia residency at the Waterman's Art Centre followed by further research & development workshops at Toynbee Studios in 2016.
June 28-July 1st at the Battersea Arts Centre in London and El Wedad in Gaza City.
July 9-10th at the Everyman in Liverpool and El Wedad in Gaza City- part of the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.
Future tour dates to be announced.
Julian Maynard Smith is the artistic director of Station House Opera with whom he pioneered the use of real-time video streaming to link performance spaces in theatre productions in the early 2000s. From 2009-14 he held a fellowship at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, developing the technology and dramaturgy of Telematic Theatre during which he produced Nowhere (2010-13), The Doors (2014) and The Apartment (2015). In 2014, Station House Opera produced Dissolved, linking the Sophiensaele theatre in Berlin with Beaconsfield Arts in London.
Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso is co-director of At Home in Gaza and London. She is also a theatre-maker, producer, and facilitator with a practice in contemporary work in or about the Middle East. Since 2012, she has been developing intercultural and cross-cultural work with performance artists and playwrights in the UK, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. She creates and performs work within the context of cultural resistance and as an associate artist of Kazzum, leads programmes of workshops with young refugees and asylum seekers across the UK. She produced and co-programmed the 2018 AWAN - Arab Women Artists Now Festival in London. In July 2018, she joined the Shubbak team as the festival's Programme & Engagement Producer.
Project Technical Director: Matt Wasser
Assistant Director in Gaza: Amjad Saeed
Assistant Director in London: Ebaa Rezeq
Technician in Gaza: Mohammed El Ghoul
Technician in London: Alex Hewitt
Co-devised and Performed by: Aya Abdelrahman, Abeer Ahmed, Tara Fatehi Irani, Ali Hassany, Yoko Ishiguro, Mariam Nasser, Hamza Saftawy, Walid Tafesh and Owl Young
Produced by Ania Obolewicz for Artsadmin
With special thanks to Gaza Sky Geeks for their logistical support.