How Close Could We Get to the Light and Survive?

Sat, Oct 7, 2017
7.30–11 pm
Evening ticket: 8€/6€ Day ticket: 14€/10€

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Bird Watching
English with simultaneous translation into German

In this live audio essay, surveillance, racist violence, and illegal incarceration are the instruments of an aural inquiry. It focuses on Abu Hamdan’s acoustic investigation into the prison of Saydnaya, 25 kilometers north of Damascus. Being inaccessible to independent observers, the memories of those who survive are the only resource available from which to learn of the violations taking place there. As the capacity of detainees to see anything was highly restricted, the prisoners developed an acute sensitivity to sound. Abu Hamdan reconstructs the prison’s architecture and events through ear-witness interviews and invites us to listen to the threshold of experience where sounds are remembered as images, where objects have unexpected echoes, and where silence becomes language.

Rabih Mroué
Sand in the Eyes
English with simultaneous translation into German

Rabih Mroué explores the image politics of Islamist recruiting videos. These videos are characterized by formats and image styles that correspond with popular viewing habits among youth growing up in Europe, while deliberately testing the limits of what one wants to see and stomach. Based on research material comprised of recruiting videos secured by the officers of the German Intelligence Services, Mroué asks not only what these videos reveal about their producers or the videos’ capacity to engage young people for the means of Islamist propaganda, but also questions the politics inherent in dealing with these propaganda videos from the point of view of the state and society.

Round table with all participants
moderated by Rabih Mroué and Ahmad Beydoun

Part of How Close Could We Get to the Light and Survive?, curated by Rabih Mroué