Ruba's Body, by Wael Darweish (Egypt)



Ruba's Body, by Wael Darweish (Egypt)




Ruba's Body was created in response to poetic texts written by Habibah Sheikh, a nomadic performance artist originally from Lebanon, and the curator of the Mitli Mitlak (Like You, Like Me) exhibition. In the text, a character named Ruba experiences the destruction of war firsthand and becomes a refugee in the process. The use of imagery and violence evokes the emotional and physical vulnerability of certain Mediterranean themes...such as being without asylum.

Act 1, Scene 1, Mitli Mitlak (Like You, Like Me):

(Ruba tries on costumes, begins to dance. Has a party with herself, until a bomb happens and Electricity shuts off)

“I want to be free! I want to go out! I want to sit in a restaurant!
I want to go to the library! I want to dance! I want to talk to people!
I want to know how I life! How I am! How I am…I…I!!”

In her solitary party, Ruba notices that the reflection in the mirror is not her own. The reflection speaks to her.

“you have a bigger heart than you know. And I love the way you make friends...and how you look around you to find how to experience life...and to live from moment to moment. I love the way you analyze what's happening around you. But..most..of ...all...I frahnika gardevooliko aslagagaboosheeho! (Pause) (changes tone) why are you so sad? I see you. Yes, I see you. I am your mirror, and I accept you. I never lie. I (pointing to an imaginary friend and engaging with the friend in laughter) her, WE are dead...but you are alive!”

Darweish’s work is concerned with the changing perceptions related to the continuous social metamorphosis that Egypt has experienced as an African, Arab and Middle Eastern country. He explores issues of colonization and liberation and the contemporary constraints of time, diaspora, gender, and identity.



jpeg., 20x26



Original Format

mixed media, acrylic, and oil pastel on paper



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