The Battle Scene
“Fill your eyes with this horror! It is the only thing that can stop you!’ The madman cries to the fleeing multitudes of the living, who reward him with a martyr’s death, after which he joins his dead comrades: a sea of impassive ghosts overrunning the cowering future combatants and victims of la guerre de demain. War beaten back by apocalypse.
And the following year the war came.”
Shall we continue being spectators of the events, the disputes, the conflicts, the fighting, and the crimes? Shall we keep having our distance from them? Tell their stories and question them? Or are we part of their theater, building a new foundation?
The monstrous overrepresentation of violence has created yet again a crisis of values and a loss in meaning, leading to silence. Silence here imposes itself. Speech faced with the unsaid becomes incapable of representation, moving the action to a new battlefield.
“The Battle Scene” is a reenactment. Committing the acts without distance. It is a foundation for a practice of open waged battles, taking us beyond the mere act of witnessing.
We are not the eyewitnesses of what we’re telling, we are the committers of the crimes, we are the people of war, we put ourselves on both sides of the front and we engage in our battle, we draw the lines of what we are living, we establish the possibility, we set up the chance without sinking.
Presentation dates and locations:
The Battle Scene premiered at Al Madina Theater in Beirut in September 2015 and at the International Theater Festival of Kerala (ITFOK), in January 2016, at Tandem Festival, Arras, France in November 2016 and at the BAM festival in Palermo in February 2017.
Conceived and produced by: Zoukak
Directed by: Omar Abi Azar
Dramaturgy: Maya Zbib and Abdallah Al Kafri
Devised by: Lamia Abi Azar, Omar Abi Azar, Hashem Adnan, Abdallah Al Kafri, Nathalie Harb, Ramzi Hibri, Joseph Kaï, Chrystèle Khodr, Tamara Saade, Junaid Sarrieddeen, Khaled Yassine, and Maya Zbib
Performed by: Lamia Abi Azar, Hashem Adnan, Ramzi Hibri, Chrystèle Khodr, Alain Saade, Tamara Saade, Naya Salemé, Junaid Sarrieddeen, and Maya Zbib
Scenography: Nathalie Harb
Original music: Khaled Yassine
Illustration and poster design: Joseph Kai
Light design: Omar Abi Azar, Nathalie Harb and Nadim Deaibes
Technical director: Nadim Deaibes
Technical assistant: Salim Abou Ayyach
Sound Engineer: Georges Abou Zeid
Production Manager: Mohamad Hamdan
Communication officer: Maya Chami