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Manuscripts of Foreign Body(s) (screening + discussion) in Birmingham
February 21, 2022 18:00
During the LGBT History Month UK, Berlin based Lebanese multidisciplinary performer and social artist Ahmad BaBa will present a plethora of his bodies of work in collaboration with SHOUT Festival and Midlands Arts Centre. His work focuses on claiming more visibility for underrepresented communities such as the LGBT+ refugee community in Berlin, and creating dance/storytelling projects.
Manuscripts of Foreign Body(s) is a documentation film of performance workshops by Ahmad BaBa and Michalina Mrozek that focuses on TLGBQIA+ bodies of color. The bodies here are seen in their continuous duality; both as sites of oppression and resilience. This collective workshop invited artists from different disciplines to come together and create a safe(r) space(s), for investigating bodies on different levels, and bring forward narratives that speak to their own personal stories.
Ahmad BaBa collaborates with Michalina Mrozek, a filmmaker and film educator who has been working as an independent filmmaker in Berlin since the beginning of 2013. She has many years of experience in educational work with youth and young adults as a project manager and filmmaker. For the past four years, she has increasingly realized projects with LGBTQ+ communities that aim for more visibility and tolerance.
Ahmad is accompanied in Birmingham by his assistant director Mansur Ajang.
→ The event is free of charge, but registration is required.
About Ahmad BaBa
Ahmad BaBa is a Lebanese visual and performance artist based in Berlin. His work is rooted in critical interdisciplinarity and anti-oppressive practices. With a performing arts background and currently working towards his MA in Dance and Movement Therapy, Ahmad focuses on developing embodied arts and therapeutic processes. As conventional pedagogies around body work reproduce systemic oppression in institutions, he works against viewing the effect of oppression as political mediums and complexities that fall outside of the “norm”. Ahmad's practice works to centralize lived experiences as the core element for collective transformations through approaches based on a "by us, for us" framework, the rewriting of bodies' stories through dance, and redefining trauma-related oppression(s). Some of his previous projects and workshops include "Manuscripts of Foreign Body(s)", "Deconstructing Aesthetics of Embodiment" and "QueeЯevolutions".His visual performances approach identity from a critical and collective archivist perspective that revolve around understanding Queerness in relation to the multilayered Arab* Muslim identity(s). This has been shown through in his work “ Ilk علق“, which is an investigation into how queerness has become a form of colonialism, erasing and homogenizing many identities and ways of being that don't necessarily fit under "Queer "as an umbrella term."
About Mansur Ajang
Mansur Ajang is a performer, director and coach working with marginalized communities in Berlin. One focus of his work is theater productions with long-term unemployed people that unleash the potential of people in social and economic circumstances through artistic creativity. He was trained at the Elisabethbühne of the Schauspielhaus in Salzburg. First engagements followed at the Theater of the Young World in Leipzig, Staatstheater Darmstadt and Ballhaus Ost Berlin. He is a member of the ensemble of the Magdeburg Theater since 2022. Ilk is his second production with the performance artist Ahmad BaBa.
Assistant Director: Mansur Ajang // Facebook
About the residency
Ahmad BaBa's residency with SHOUT Festival & Midlands Arts Center (MAC) is part of the ongoing research, exhibition and performance project "Embodied Temporalities - tracing the memories our bodies hold" by Oyoun.
What memories do our bodies hold? What can our bodies tell us about ourselves, pasts, and futures? Through Embodied Temporalities—Tracing the memories our bodies hold, cultural practitioners explore identities, belonging and embodied memories through diasporic, decolonial and queer perspectives. It offers a community-centered approach for participants finding expression of experiences through movement while paving the way for collective healing. Embodied Temporalities is a research, archiving, exhibition and performance project under the artistic direction of Madhumita Nandi.
Artistic Director: Madhumita Nandi // Instagram
This international collaboration is made possible by PerformEurope. Perform Europe is an EU-funded project aiming to rethink how performing arts works are presented across borders in a more inclusive, sustainable and balanced way by testing new touring and distribution practices and providing policy recommendations for a future EU support scheme. This 18-month journey includes a research phase, launching a digital platform, testing a support scheme, and designing policy recommendations.
Perform Europe is funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union and co-managed by a Consortium of 5 organizations: IETM – International network for contemporary performing arts, The European Festivals Association (EFA), Circostrada, EDN – European Dancehouse Networkand IDEA Consult.