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we dreamt of utopia and woke up screaming

Listening Session

24/05/23 7pm


BOOK your ticket below for this in person event – with an online audio live stream on Radio Al Hara. If you are unable to afford the ticket price email contact@mosaicrooms.org for a free ticket.

Ever wanted to witness the behind-the-scenes operations of a live radio broadcast?

Join us for this performance which hopes to address a diverse community of listeners and attempts to tackle the assertion that radio is a unidirectional medium.

Listening Session is part of Yasmina Reggad‘s research project and series we dreamt of utopia and we woke up screaming (2015-ongoing) which investigates the liberation movements’ broadcasts aired by the Algerian National Broadcasting Company (RTA) in the 1960s and 70s. Each Listening Session is amplified through a collaboration with an online militant radio that broadcasts the performance live from the margins to the margins, thus producing an alternative sound archive that interrogates our shared history.

For this new iteration and collaboration, Yasmina Reggad invited artist Urok Shirhan to dive together into her extensive sound archive. Drawing on Yasmina Reggad’s previous polyglot and polyphonic sonic productions, together they will perform a live broadcast that can both be seen and heard whilst it is (seemingly) being produced. Inspired by live video streamings of radio programmes that widely circulate online since few decades, all behind-the-scenes activities and audience participation are (re)enacted. Against the whole spirit of specialisation, Listening Session celebrates the legacy of militant and free radio, and absorbs their guerrilla media tactics.

The performance (90 mins) is in English and includes archival material in French, Portuguese Spanish and Arabic.

If you can’t join us at The Mosaic Rooms, you can tune in from the comfort of your own home as Radio AlHara transmits live from London, UK via Bethlehem, Palestine on their internet-based radio.

Listening Session – Handout (A letter sent by L. M. in May 1973)

Listening Session – we dreamt of utopia and we woke up screaming (2015-ongoing) – Creation, research, script and direction: Yasmina Reggad • Performers: Yasmina Reggad and Urok Shirhan • Broadcast by: Radio AlHara • Sound technician: Yamen Mekdad from Syrian Cassette Archives • Production: Hiros • Commissioned by: The Mosaic Rooms • Supported by: Arts Decree of the Flemish Government • Research and development supported by: Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap), Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), Ucross Foundation, Sundance Institute Theatre Program and the Bouzeurs Family • With Special thanks to: the ears and the eyes of Krystel Khoury • Dedicated to: Dominique Malaquais

Accessibility: A print out of the script will be available for hearing-impaired members of the audience. If you have any access needs that you’d like us to be aware of before the event, please email us at contact@mosaicrooms.org and check for more information on access here.


Yasmina Reggad is a performance artist, researcher, writer and dramaturge based in Brussels (Belgium). She holds a Master’s degree in Medieval History from La Sorbonne (France). She was recently co-curator of the exhibition by Zineb Sedira at the French Pavilion – 59th Venice Biennale (Italy), artistic director of the Bienal das Amazônias (Brazil) and curator at aria (artist residency in algiers). Yasmina Reggad develops projects that span different genres from performance and lecture-performance to dance pieces and sound interventions. Her work was recently staged at Beursschouwburg, KANAL-Pompidou and Kaaistudio’s (Belgium); Chimurenga’s PASS Liberation radio for Documenta 15 (Tanzania); La Cantine Syrienne de Montreuil, Les rencontres à l’échelle at Mucem Museum (France), among others. Yasmina Reggad also works as a dramaturge and has collaborated with choreographer Ioanna Angelopoulou, dancer-choreographer Trajal Harrell, and performance artists/directors Carlos Azeredo Mesquita and Lucile Saada Choquet.

Urok Shirhan is an artist and researcher working at the intersection of performance, visual arts and critical theory. Her practice explores the politics and poetics of sound, image and speech in relation to power and affect. As an Iraqi-born, once asylum-seeker turned Dutch citizen, issues surrounding identity and displacement are of particular interest, and her projects are often informed by her family’s history of political struggle and perpetual migrations.


Images 1 &3: Performance by Yasmina Reggad at KANAL-Pompidou Studio K, 2021. Photo by Valérie Nagant.
Image 2: Yasmina Reggad. Photo by Valérie Nagant.
Image 4: Still from documentation of the performance at Beursschouwburg, 2022. Courtesy of Yasmina Reggad.


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