Performed by: Chrystele Khodr and Omar Abi Azar
Director: Omar Abi Azar and Maya Zbib
Lighting Design: Marco Pinarelli
Death Comes Through the Eyes is part of a new cycle of work around themes of death and immortality. We need to address currently emerging paradigms that are defining our relationship to death and how it is represented. Today we are surrounded by images of death: lurking at the edges of our consciousness, looming at the peripheral edge of our field of vision, murmuring dimly in our ears…. The screens that connect us to the world show us a stream of images of corpses. Now we associate “body” with abuse, brutality, slaughter, decapitation, and martyrdom; bodies have become objects of tyranny, indifference and arrogance, the prey of hunger and epidemics. We have grown numb.
At a time when policy-makers are setting the value of our bodies through wars and unchecked epidemics; as people are massacred and beheaded daily on the news; and as Hollywood zombie movie heroes systematically obliterate masses of the “undead;” live theater sets in front of our eyes this body devaluation. It questions our relationship to the media’s version of death and asks us to reassess our own responsibility in this process.
Omar Abi Azar was born in 1983 and is a theater director and a founding member of Zoukak Theater Company. He holds a BA in Theater from the Lebanese University, Institute of Fine Arts (2006). Since 1999, he has directed and performed in a large number of productions presented in Europe, the USA and the Arab world. He has taught theater and taken part in round tables and panels in various contexts in Lebanon and internationally.
He co-curates Zoukak Sidewalks, an international year-round platform of performance and Focus Liban, a platform for the diffusion of performing art works from the Arab world. He recently co-adapted Mahmoud Darwish’s A Memory For Forgetfulness for the stage and published Hussein at Amers Editions; both plays have been produced and performed in Germany.
Maya Zbib is a theatre director, performer and co-founder of Zoukak Theatre Company. Her work has been presented internationally in various festivals and venues (Berlin, Nicosia, Limassol, London, Amman, Avignon, New York (New York Public Library), Tunisia, Luxembourg, Brussels, Williamstown (Williams College), Manchester, Istanbul, Alexandria, Barcelona, Marseilles (MUCEM), Krefeld, India (ITFOK) and Houston (CounterCurrent)). She has taught in academic and non-academic contexts, in the Middle East, Europe, the United States and Africa. Maya is an alumna of Goldsmiths University (2007), Chevening/KRSF (2007), and Cultural Leadership International (2010). She is a fellowship recipient of ISPA, New York (2010) and was selected as the protégé of Peter Sellars, as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative (2011). She was also a finalist for the Gilder/Coigner International theatre Award, New York (2014).
Chrystèle Khodr is a theater performer and writer born in Beirut in 1983. She graduated in Performing Arts from the National Institute of Fine Arts (Beirut) and was trained in physical theater at the International School of Theatre LASSAAD - Lecoq pedagogy (Brussels). She wrote the solo "2007, or how I crushed my bubble envelopes." Khodr created Beirut Sepia and performed it in several festivals and spaces. She performed in Zoukak’s collective performances He who saw everything and Death comes through the eyes. She collaborates with Zoukak Collective on several projects.
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