Dictaphone Group: Why the Sea is Mine?

Why the Sea is Mine © Dictaphone Group
Why the Sea is Mine
© Dictaphone Group

Friday, 13 December 2013, Lecture, 19.00-20.00 @ Zico House

Why the Sea is Mine? is a lecture by Dictaphone Group in which we share some of the findings from our research as well as our artistic work process from three projects that took place in Lebanon: ‘Bit Téléférique’, ‘Bus Cemetery’ and ‘This Sea Is Mine’.

Dictaphone Group creates live art performances based on findings and stories produced through multi-disciplinary research on space and oral history. It is a collaborative project initiated by live artist Tania El Khoury and architect/urbanist Abir Saksouk. Together with performer and producer Petra Serhal, they have been creating site specific performances informed by research in a variety of places such as cable car, a fisherman’s boat, and a discontinued bus. The aim of these projects is to question, as citizens, our relationship to the city, with a focus on public space, and the goal of its redefinition.

Dictaphone Group: This Sea is Mine

This Sea is Mine  © Houssam Mchaimech
This Sea is Mine
© Houssam Mchaimech

Friday, 13 December 2013, Performance, 10.00-14.00 @ Ain el-Mreisse port

This Sea Is Mine is a site-specific live performance that explores the concepts of access to the sea and public space in the city through Beirut’s seafront. The audience is invited to take part in a journey on a fishing boat. Going from the Ain el-Mreisse port to Ramlet el-Baida beach, the project explores land ownership of Beirut’s seafront, the laws that govern it, and the practices of its users. The performance has recently been turned into a sound piece that will be made available with fishermen to give to anyone who wants to embark on a similar trip. It will also be available online for anyone to download.

Writer and Performer: Tania El Khoury

Fisherman / Performer: Adnan Al Oud

Researcher / Booklet Writing: Abir Saksouk

Producer: Petra Serhal

This project was originally funded by AFAC 2012

Meeting point: Ain el-Mreisse port 15min before the show

Tour 1: 10am

Tour 2: 12noon

Limited audience capacity. Advanced reservation required on a first come first served basis at sek@orient-institut.org.


Laban – Live Lactic Culture (Masar Theatre)

© Laban
© Laban

Thursday, 12 December 2013, Improvisational theatre, 19.00 @ Orient Institut Beirut (OIB)

Masar Theatre is a participatory, improvisation-based, socio-political theatre format invented by Laban. It was invented to meet the need of having a theatre-based tool for interventions in communities that are not known enough to intervening artists. In Masar Theatre, the audience share stories about a certain issue. The actors then come up with a short play that depicts the essence of the stories shared. Afterward the audiences build this story along with the actors or advise about directions the story can take or endings they may want to try out.

Laban is an improvisational theatre-based organization started in 2009. It works on spreading improvisational theatre in Lebanon and the region through trainings and performances. These performances include improvised acting, creating, directing, lighting, music, and other performance requirements and are of different formats, some of which are invented by Laban. It also works on utilizing the skills and techniques of improvisational theatre in civil society activism. Through rigorous ongoing training and experience, Laban has become the reference for improvisational theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed (Forum Theatre, Image Theatre), and Playback Theatre in Lebanon. Laban places a lot of weight on partnerships with other organizations in order to create the desired change. In approaching organizations, Laban brings the theatre component and different kinds of theatre-based interventions to projects, whether they are starting up, ongoing, or in planning phase.

Dictaphone Group: Bus Cemetery

Bus Cemetery © Dictaphone Group
Bus Cemetery
© Dictaphone Group

Thursday, 12 December 2013, Performance 10.30-17.30 @ Warehouse

The lack of public transport in Lebanon and its ‘death’ in our city is seen as an extension to the lack of public spaces such as beaches, parks and pavements. This is why our project Bus Cemetery came about.

Bus Cemetery is a sound-based intervention that was performed inside one of the derelict buses in the former train station in Mar Mkhael (Beirut), popularly known as the ‘bus cemetery’. The site is where the dysfunctional buses are dumped, and the workplace for the employees of the Lebanese public transportation authority.

This project will take the audience on an imagined tour inside an abandoned bus. The audience will be ushered into the bus by a female driver, to embark on a short trip in the city.

The Map is the transportation network in Beirut from the year 1923 merged with our imagined bus route that tours in the city passing through existing locations like gardens and cemeteries.

Performer: Petra Serhal

Writer: Tania El Khoury

Sound Design: RamziMadi

This project was originally funded by AFAC 2011