Who told our story?
Where did we get stuck?
FLAMES | SUSU ABDULMAJID
"SUNDAY STREAM: FLAMES"
is a radio broadcast with me, Susu AbdulMajid, based on classic radio play. Sleepless in Seattle meets true crime made in Berlin. The concept is simple: My voice, waiting for yours, because I want to talk to you because I may even need it more than you do. Tune in, tell me what moves you or just listen and listen. I want to get rid of something, you know. Stories that haven't found a place. Stories that take up space and are not that sexy either, right now. But they are honest. I promise to you.
A utopia / dystopia
Who told our story?
Where did we get stuck?
They said I'm going to be a cliché. But today there are pictures of me with my face and name.
"Flames" are voices, materials, encounters. Degree of authenticity, existing on the area of Germany and Co.
Flames, that's me and I'm part of a choir
Aggressively misunderstood, mythically read and phenomenalized. We became. We are the depraved offspring Penelopes and Odysseus is long dead. They loved us, then they hunted us, then they burned us. Today they still don't cry for us. Our voices, rough and tart, crystal clear and silky. Voices from ashes that can now be heard again. We are detonators, intellectuals and whores. We're the best you've ever seen burning, the best ignition material for you and your homies. When they took land from us, they believed us penniless and made us women on the outskirts of the city. From there we were just one point, burning, blazing. Now we shine into your room, as a small, round spot of light, directly into your office. Penelope never cried, just as no one cried for her. We are players and we ignite in blue. Always looking for detonators, we burn down your longings, inflame the beauty of the body, throw our ashes at you. A pleasure that is lived. A nerve that gets hit. Our singing is your new lullaby. You thought it was lamentation. It was singing. And you followed us like the sirens - since 1586. Since 1478. Since 800 Bc. Since 2001. Since 2020.
I am flames.
And I'm part of the choir. A choir is looking for answers to German questions - called by homeland ancestors and donated to those who are in exile. Well here we are. This is not an exile, but an exit. You called, we are now speaking. We tell you about our childhood, our playmates, the lost of childhood, being lost in adolescence, the blood between our legs, the longing for physical pleasures, the failure of individual existences, the fear of exclusion, the love for one another. Of longing.
Yes, I think I want to tell you something about longing. I want to try - not just because it sounds nice, I promise.
The choir helps me with this. Maybe we will find synonyms for longing, maybe you can also say “Özlem”. It all happened here and yet it is not entirely from here. I don't want to be transparent, but I don't want to look for a new identity either. Of course, the stories are shaped by our mothers and fathers from countries with snow-capped mountains and rivers who swallow laundry made from sheep's wool. Yes, I am shaped by women whose stories we denied. This Germany is a small reservoir, with many female strangers. A territory that grows beyond the edge of good-naturedness. A stain that constantly exaggerates and assigns our voice to the wrong note. A burning pile of forest, hair, and concrete. The choir speaks of me, because I've joined them now - and of those who have stayed here for centuries. From their starting points that were not told and from their end points that were celebrated.
The choir speaks
We have often failed because of the expectations of this country, far too often we fell victim to a cliché, be it that of the city and its pulling power - or the utopia of a modern woman “of today” who is fabulously integrated into the conservation system and herself have long since freed from oppression. Or is it the ash that surrounds us that made us darken? Is it our nature that led to disempowerment? Our time has come to tell you about real encounters. From us, because we are afraid of not being heard anymore. For us it is no longer just about participation, but about co-determination.
Susana AbdulMajid is an actress who was born in Berlin to Iraqi parents. After school, Susana studied acting in Berlin and New York. After graduating, she founded several collectives and played street theater, where she pitched tents and performed original plays. She also worked in various asylum centers, where she performed choirs in Arabic and German with women from Syria and Iraq.
Since 2014 she has worked all over Europe at renowned theaters with well-known directors. In 2019 she was part of the ensemble for the play "Orestes in Mosul" by Swiss director Milo Rau, with whom she opened the world's leading theater festivals. In 2018 she played in the film "JIBRIL" (Berlinale Panorama) by Henrika Kull, for which she received several nominations for the German Acting Award for best leading actress.
Susana is co-founder of the cultural format “Poetry Nights Berlin” and “I Am Not Your Exotic Girl”, where she presents Middle Eastern poetry with live music. She writes short texts and poems and has recorded several songs for German films together with the composer Dascha Dauenhauer - the song "Yella Hayat" was nominated for Best Song in Film 2018.
She also studied cultural studies at the Free University of Berlin with a focus on Arabic literature and theater.