How to Walk through a Labyrinth
This conversation and reading on How to Walk through a Labyrinth is presented by Kayfa ta. Curated by Ala Younis and Maha Maamoun this session will include readings and individual audio-visual interventions by Barakunan and writer Rayya Badran focusing on ideas of world building and mythmaking through story telling. A highlight will be the launch of Amr Ezzat‘s new book How to Remember Your Dreams. Each contribution will be followed with a Q&A with the audience.
If were to reduce all the contributions in these sessions to one word, these words would be Dreams, Radio, Homeland and World – some of the tangible or conceptual spaces that we wandered in these times of confinement. Each of these spaces is informed by personal and collective histories, that may have come to surface more clearly in these times – exposing their and our own ability to sustain or rethink our present.
Amr Ezzat – How to Remember Your Dreams
“Do you really want to remember your dreams?? I often wish to forget mine, probably because I sometimes remember them to the point that I get angry with people for what they did in them, or grow sad again over what happened as though it reoccurred last night, or feel the bittersweet joy of having, for a moment, what enchanted me.? Sometimes I think I have in fact replied to work emails or finally sent my clothes to the cleaners. Or I remember in detail the circumstances of my death, again and again, whereas perhaps the only benefit to death, whether we go to heaven or hell or nonexistence, is that we are no longer preoccupied with it. Until then, what I sometimes want when I go to bed and remember my day is to suddenly discover it was nothing but a dream. I’d think about how I’d like to write it, and then open my eyes again to the world and to other dreams.” (Excerpt from How to remember your dreams by Amr Ezzat).
Rayya Badran – The Idea of Playback
“Throughout the isolation period, I spent most of my time listening to the new online radios broadcasting from places like Beirut, Amman, Bethlehem, Berlin and other cities. Through their rich and diverse programming, these new radios continue to offer alternative spaces for listening in the region. My contribution will reflect on the power of collective listening and the significance of playback through the medium of radio in a time of physical distance and isolation.”
Barakunan – Moonship Dispatch Vol.
Moonship Dispatch is an audiovisual digital travelogue from a team of cosmic wanderers on the Moonship Ra which set sail from Earth in the Year 2495 BC, during the reign of Userkaf in the Fifth Dynasty of the Egyptian Old Kingdom. This is an era marked by the growing importance of the cult of the sun god Ra. The Moonship is captained by a group of high priests, nobles, educators, intellectuals, artists and scientists. Pharaoh Userkaf instructed the Moonship to travel through the cosmos after visitation from ancient astronauts, who landed in Egypt with warnings of a cataclysm that would wipe out all planetary existence.
In Dispatch no. 34.BCX.333, one of the researchers onboard, the historian Menazir Al Hakima, delivers a scathing polemic on contemporary civilisation as we know it today, offering historical analysis and evidence to rage against the “supposed exceptionalism of Western civilisation, the intrepid backwardness of the Arab-Muslim world,” and to warn against the coming collapse of the world as we know it, revealing a painful, stark portrayal of the 21st century.
Image 1: Barakunan, 2020. Courtesy of Barakunan. Published by Kayfa ta. Cover illustration by Hand Rashed.
Image 2: Cover of How to remember your dreams. By Amr Ezzat
Image 3: Barakunan, from Moon Dispatches performance at How To Reappear, Beirut Art Center (2019). Courtesy of Ala Barakunan
* Title borrowed from Amr Ezzat’s How to remember your dreams