Happy New Fear
Rima Najdi (LB/DE)
with Kathy Alberici & Ana Nieves Moya (DE/UK/ES)
18. Nov 22:00-23:00
audio visual performance
In 2014, Rima Najdi performed Madame Bomba: The TNT project in her hometown of Beirut. To open a conversation about anxiety and fear caused by pervasive violence everywhere, she strapped a fake cartoon TNT bomb to her body while roaming the streets.
Taking off from this action, Happy New Fear blends experimental music and sound sourced in Beirut by Kathy Alberici, visual projections by Ana Nieves Moya, and live narration by Rima Najdi as it follows Madame Bomba and her search for her lover in the city, a stranger who exists in the collective consciousness and of whom everyone is afraid of.
Using audiovisual material sourced directly from Beirut, Najdi maps out Bomba’s walks and her navigation of her own fear of walking as a breathing bomb. The work aims to explore the feeling of being alone, inadequate, and to confront the illusion of having control over one’s fear. The story reflects how violence is not only direct, explosive and spectacular, but structural, gradual and anonymous, targeting everyone.
Please note: This performance uses multiple languages, but all subtitles are in English. Danish translations will be made available at selected events. Please inquire.
Image: Maria Kassab
"A threat that could be anywhere is a threat that is everywhere. ‘Happy New Fear’, then, is a means of opening a space of complication where the audience and performers conjure up the spectre of this threat together."
- Annelyse Gelman, BerlinArtLink
ABOUT RIMA NAJDI:
Rima Najdi is a Berlin-based performance artist working across performance, video and installation. Her work occupies and (re)negotiates in-between spaces: between the self and other, reality and fiction, physicality and emotion.
Najdi has described herself as speaking "French in an Arabic accent, English in a French accent and Arabic in a Lebanese accent." In works like Dress ME how YOU like and GRAPHIC WARNING: It is not ME it is YOU, she grapples with the ways in which identity is constructed and perceived, focusing on the lived experience of the body. She is interested in the vulnerability of the body in relation to the highly politicized tropes of gender, safety, mobility and representation. In action or as artefact, her art questions stereotypes, the failure of language and both real and imagined borders.
Created by Rima Najdi
Visuals by Ana Nieves Moya
Music by Kathy Alberici
Happy New Fear was awarded one of the two production prizes by CTM Radio Lab 2017: Coproduction Deutschlandradio Kultur – Hörspiel/Klangkunst, CTM Festival, in cooperation with Goethe-Institut, ORF musikprotokoll, Ö1 Kunstradio und SoCCoS – the Sound of Culture, the Culture of Sound Initiative. Happy New Fear was developed in part at the 2016 Sundance Theater Lab in MENA with additional Post-Lab funds possible from the Andrew w. Mellon foundation.