Performing the Resurrection: al-Ba‘ṯ by Nora Amin (Nūrā Amīn)

in La rivista di Arablit, a. X, n. 20, dicembre 2020, pp. 121-135.

This article is an analysis of the performance piece al-Ba‘ṯ (The Resurrection) – written, directed and performed by Nora Amin – in the perspective of a dance ritual, with all its meanings (loss, de-humanisation, oneness and survival), and through all its languages (words, gestures, lights and sounds). The aim of this study is to underline the use of all these artistic tools to resist pain, trauma and death, while at the same time rebuilding the self and the social fabric, through the sharing of memories, emotions and feelings. Every aspect of this ritual, created by the Egyptian artist following the loss of her partner in the Beni Suef fire, is associated with the idea of healing after involving others in her own suffering, which is not only an individual pain but also a collective one.

Introduction

This article is part of a wider project that concerns different kinds of resistance practices in Arab societies, and intends to analyse different artistic and literary languages used by artists and scholars to express the feelings and the practices of al-muqāwamah and to represent a different vision of the social and political reality. In this frame, I chose to put the focus on an interesting case study of the Egyptian contemporary theatre. In fact, over the last three decades, independent theatre troupes have played an important role in reshaping the Egyptian cultural field through experimental artistic approaches. They have affirmed the importance of freedom of expression in content and in practice, using many different means to avoid censorship, to find financial backing and to convey their message to the audience1.

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1About the use of theatrical art in political and social issues see: Amin 2000; Soliman 2011; Butler and Athanasiou 2013; Mehta 2014; Youssef and Golson 2018.

This is an Article from La Rivista di Arablit - Anno X, numero 20, dicembre 2020

Acquista Back to Anno X, numero 20, dicembre 2020

L’Autore

Alba Rosa Suriano |