barzakhian bodies playing dice

a translingual experimentation, performing an excerpt of the poetry "A Dice Player" Mahmoud Darwish

Together, my five dear friends/collaborators/homemakers roll the dice across Arabic, English, Spanish, Farsi, Mandarin, and Cantonese. In and out of known and unknown, we paved out a journey of making dissonance/harmony between our shared differences.

Inspired by the experiences of “doing barzakh”of im/migrants in Tangier and the Jahriyya Sufis’ practice of “fragile transcendence“ in Ningxia, this piece proposes that collectively uttering the “meaningless syllables” in one‘s unfamiliar languages introduces a new grammar of community. Which process cultivates togetherness and tolerance that transcends the chasm between language codes and ideological communities. I firmly believe that this extent of trust and empathy is urgent in our world today, that is now being crushed by dehumanizing apartheid and senseless violence.

[1] Listening to and watching animated the arabic version of the poem and repeat after it
[2] Reading the English translation together
[3] Translate the English version into one’s native language
[4] One performs their translated poetry and other’s repeat
[5] Read the poetry together again in different languages
[6] Final edit condense the process of the 4 hour workshop into the body of the “the dice player”

A soundscape of
Mahmoud Darwish
Loren Yuehan Wang
Parsa Ferdowsi
Negar Soleymanifar
Marina Canedo-Argüelles
Xiran Tan
“The Dice Player لاعب النرد”
Written by Mahmoud Darwish
Translated by Fady Joudah
Edited/Animated By Nissmah Roshdy

Advised by Prof. A. George Bajalia
In the brilliant class of Semiotics of al-Barzakh: The Grammars of the End of Days and Horizons of Possibility