In this one-on-one performance, experience an intimate, moving encounter with a refugee, re-imagined for the online space.
From Lebanese-British live artist, Tania El Khoury and musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, comes a powerful work that explores the mental and physical state of refugees, cast against the inhumane conditions of detention centres.
Built from their original collaboration As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, in which El Khoury commissioned Zaraa to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden, As Far as Isolation Goes recreates this one-on-one performance for the online context.
El Khoury's work raises timely questions about the borders that separate us – both visible and invisible. As Far as Isolation Goes uses touch, sound, and interactivity to bring audience members in contact with those faced with inhumane detention centres and a mental health system that disregards their political and emotional contexts.
Born a Palestinian refugee in Syria, Zaraa creates a song inspired by conversations with his friends and colleagues who have recently claimed refuge in the United Kingdom. His music draws us into a personal and collective experience – of his life and the lives of other refugees – grappling with loss, isolation and an uncertain future in a foreign land.
Intimate, poetic and heart-rending, As Far As Isolation Goes creates a rare moment of connection and understanding, one that will stay with you even after you say goodbye.
Produced by Artsadmin
Song Conception: Basel Zaraa
Music Production: Peter Churchill
Vocals and Lyrics: Jazzar & Shamma Iqbal
Wall Writing: Steaz
Image: Basel Zaraa
Work originally commissioned by the Sick of the Fringe 2019. Online version commissioned by GIFT 2020.
“This is the extremely rare occasion on which a production draws on you. No, really, right on you. And it does so with both a touching illustrative delicacy and an appeal to the conscience that is impossible to turn away from.” – Washington Post’s review on As Far as My Finger Tips Take Me
Tania El Khoury
Tania El Khoury is a live artist creating installations and performances focused on audience interactivity and concerned with the ethical and political potential of such encounters. Her work has been translated and presented in multiple languages in 32 countries across six continents, in spaces ranging from museums to cable cars to the Mediterranean Sea. She is a 2019 Soros Art Fellow and the recipient of the 2017 International Live Art Prize, the 2011 Total Theatre Innovation Award and Arches Brick Award. Tania was a festival guest curator at Bard Fisher Center. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2018, a survey of her work entitled “ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury” took place in Philadelphia organised by Bryn Mawr College and FringeArts Festival funded by Pew Centre for Arts and Heritage. Tania is affiliated with Forest Fringe in the UK and is the co-founder of the urban research and performance collective Dictaphone Group in Lebanon.
Find out more about Tania El Khoury here.
Basel Zaraa is a spoken word artist and percussionist who writes on themes of exile and resistance. He has collaborated with a wide range of international artists including Akala, Guildhall youth project (Im)possibilities, Palestinian hip-hop group Katibeh Khamseh, Arabic fusion band Raast and funk band Shokunin. He is part of the cast of PsycheDELIGHT's 'Borderline' satire about the Calais camp, in which he performs original music and DIY sound effects. He is also a visual and stencil graffiti artist. Basel has toured internationally in Tania El Khoury's As Far As My Fingertips Take Me and has created with her a second piece entitled As Far As Isolation Goes.