The podcast ARAB WOMAN TALKING is live.
Read about Hersotry below.
The official launch is on 21 December 2019 @16:33 CET with an audio performance of #TheButterflyThat Persisted written for #ClimateChangeTheaterAction, performed by the playwright & followed by a talk, with you and/or with herself.
It’s been a while since I’ve gone by that name, which I now realise, actually marks the beginning of my career as a performing artist. It was also the address to my first website and my blog, as well as the name of my first play.
Until AWT, I was just an actress. I had started dabbling into staging my own creations (mainly dance) but it only got serious when Arab Woman started talking.
The first time was in March 2008, with a monologue/spoken-word performance for “What do the women say?” International women’s day festival of the amazing Golden Thread Productions. After that, I took AWT into an art residency at the magical “Dream Institute.” As a result, the one monologue became a full play, which I performed at the various stages of development during the residency. From there, AWT went to the Cultural Center(s) in San Francisco and Boston, and to Virginia for the Tidewater Peace Alliance light in the Dark Festival. After that, I dropped the name.
Doubt crept in: Should I label myself like that? Might it not be better to just be me… beyond my ethnicity, gender or otherwise. Do I have to use my identity as my business card? Don’t such descriptions deepen the gap between me and the ‘other’? Besides, I had always criticised artists who used the fact of ‘Arab or Palestinian or Muslim…etc’ as means to advance themselves. Shouldn’t we be seen for who we are… beyond all labels?
For more than ten years, I put AWT on the back-burner. However, I stuck to the same themes.
“I was not an always a woman, an Arab, or a Muslim, these things only came with time. At first I thought I was just insaan… human.” [From my monodrama Red Suitcase: In the Lost and Found] Questioning identity and challenging stereotypes continued to permeate most of my work, up to my cabaret shows of Integratie Cursus. Only difference was, I started doing it in Dutch!
There is no escaping identity!
Now, as I move into the world of podcasting, I find myself going back to the beginning. There was no doubt in my mind that Arab Woman Talking will be my artist name.
But what has changed?
Nothing… and everything. As I said above, there is no escaping identity. But why escape it anyway. It is what makes me – me, and it does not mean that I am limited to just that. But the fact remains that I see the world through the eyes of a woman to whom Arabic is the mother tongue. And Oh, what a beautiful language that is. As for being a woman… I would not trade it for anything else.
So, Arab Woman Talking it is. But, you might ask “What is Arab Woman Taking about?”
About language and symbolism, ecofeminism, Islamic terminology, and the dream of peace… told in the form of prose and poetry; at times live at time recorded, at times rehearsed and at times irtijaal. At times answering listeners’ questions.. and occasionally doing a guided visualisation.
Subscribe to the podcast and be the first to know: What is Arab woman talking about today!?
If you subscribe, you’ll get first row seats at the live sending of the first podcast [if I figure out how to stream it, that is.
Hope to see you there… well, kind of ‘see you’… though ‘hope you hear me’ might be more precise.
Album photo by Kristof Persyn