It is a happy day when an artist from the Arab world and one from Switzerland find common ground to work on a project about which they are both equally passionate.
One of these happy days was when Jacques Siron and Hassan El Geretly recognised the similarities between their works Nights of the Warsha and Cairo Calling on one hand and A Thousand and One Cairos on the other. The two artists met again to discuss further opportunities for exchange and agreed on collaborating on a joint performance rather than a film.
In February 2016, Siron was on a short research trip to Egypt in which they worked together for two weeks. A six-day trip was made to Luxor with a great deal of reading and discussions. The second part of the trip took place in Cairo, and was shared between discussions and experimentation with members of El Warsha. The recurring theme in their discussions in Gourna, on the West Bank of Luxor, was inter-cultural misunderstanding and the predominance of prejudice. But music, which is where Jacques comes from, is also where the two could finally meet. Hassan was keen to add to El Warsha’s many artistic sources that of the Logic of music, its abstraction and its polyphony. Jacques would be their mentor on this exploration.
Jacques’ second research trip in November 2016 allowed him to exchange with Hassan regarding the upcoming workshop and demos. Starting on October 29, Jacques worked with Warsha artists for ten days at their premises and three demos were presented on 8 and 9 November.
The possibilities of this collaboration remain open, as the two artists plan to continue exploring working together again in March 2017.
Of the collaboration, Hassan says, «Jacques, like us, is one of Shahrazad’s disciples who understand that communication is the supreme value, so necessary for survival, and that there is no better way to communicate than to keep on exchanging our stories in the face of oppression and death.»
Meanwhile, Jacques views it as a way to explore this new continent between East and West in which one can «dream of making a portrait of hectic Cairo with sounds, songs, music, movements, situations, stories. Bring your dream into acting. Blend precise and efficient actions with the unforeseen flow of improvisation. Build up polyphony; superimpose independent voices, talents and characters. Listen to their interplay. Navigate between harmony, clashes, misunderstandings and miracles.»
You can watch a short video about the collaboration HERE