After the great success of the two artists working together, with the support of Pro Helvetia Cairo in 2008, Yan Duyvendak and Omar Ghayatt will present their performance “Still in Paradise” in Kaserne Basel this year. The performance is one of the chosen acts for the jubilee celebration of the oldest liaison offices of Pro Helvetia in Cairo, Johannesburg and India “Crossroads” which is taking place in Basel and Geneva from 8 to 10 February 2018.
“Just do it” meets “Inshallah.” Individualism talks with “God’s will”. Created in 2008, the performance was first called Made in Paradise. Paradise, that’s heaven on earth through high income and profits as promised by unbridled capitalism. Paradise, that’s an afterlife sweetened by a bevy of virgins as promised by Islamic fundamentalism. The gulf between them exploded into view on 9/11. Since then, undifferentiated antagonism has spread around the globe, labelled a “clash of civilizations”. The Arab world as a whole has become suspect and for many Westerners, neo-liberal values are the only guarantee of a functioning society.
Yan Duyvendak and Omar Ghayatt, artists and performers from Switzerland and Egypt respectively, briefly introduce a series of scenes, touching on their encounter, their doubts and their differences. The spectators then choose which ones are to be played out in full. This means the show is different every night.
Each of the two artists represents the part of the world he comes from. But shared space, time and dialogue gradually undo preconceived cultural and ideological notions that feed fear and negation – without ignoring disagreements and contradictions.
Then came the new spirit of the Arab Spring. However, it swiftly degenerated into either stifling dictatorship or war and disintegration in much of North Africa and the Middle East. To the stories and images of death, atrocities and persecution, Europe’s answers are fear and the erecting of inner and outer barriers.
Extended by an epilogue, Made in Paradise has become Still in Paradise.
More about Crossroads HERE