Transcript By Harriet Lindeman: Live interview with Dalia Baassiri. 7/1/16 Full video on ArteEast Official Facebook Page. Sihem: Alright, hi, welcome, so this is our first live Facebook interview with one of our ArteEast residents, Dalia Baassiri! Dalia is an ArteEast resident artist with Residency Unlimited – we are here right now in their studio […]
"Its strengths are verbal and vocal. Even through the distortion of heavy reverb, the four women (Mona Gamil, Alaa Abdellateef, Salma Abdel Salam and Charlene Ibrahim) do pitch-perfect imitations of politicians and diplomats. In its parody of political speech, the script can be clever, with multi-sided ironies. The globe-spanning imperial titles of the new world order (“Her Majesty the Queen of Liberia and the American West Coast”) sound as absurd, and dangerous, as those of the old. The names of participants in a “cabaret for the colonies” scroll in an amusing list: Scarlett O’Sahara, Guantánamo Babe."
"Zig Zig opens with five women sitting behind desks in a row at the back of the stage. One plays the violin, another reads an archival document that sets the scene, and the others mime leafing through documents. I liked this set-up. They move around and return to the desks, combining dance, song and acting. Each play different roles at different moments, reading from the archives, reflecting on them, acting as the military, the native prosecution or the women themselves giving testimony and answering harsh questions in the British military court."
“They’re not there to talk about gender, but obviously it stems from a feminine and feminist perspective,” said Hafez. And, as there is a prevalent American media depiction of Middle Eastern women as disempowered, audience members who entered the venue drunk on that spiked Kool-Aid were likely to leave sobered up by the diversity and evident power of the performers. Said choreographer and NYLA artistic director Bill T. Jones, who conceived the festival with Kriegsmann, “We think [women from the MENA region] are oppressed or deluded. Then we see these women expressing themselves as individuals. That’s important for us to see.”
"On 25 January 2014, thousands of people gathered in Tahrir Square to celebrate the third anniversary of the Egyptian revolution. On that day, only the supporters of the army and the actions of its commander in chief were admitted into the square. The Muslim Brotherhood and opposition protests taking place in the vicinity were immediately crushed with tear gas and live ammunition. The proximity of the celebrations and the killings led many journalists to call it a day of 'death and dance'. The festive crowd was likened to a 'hysterical choir of fear'."