LET US STOP AND WEEP



وقوف على الأطلال 

... No other memory remains for the time of my childhood, and I have even forgot my father's features. Of my mother, a floating figure, I only remember the smile that covered her face and a gold ring, set with a pearl, which she wore on her ring finger.

But I have not forgotten the last chapter of my life there, the one that led me so far, under the sparkling sky of this "White Middle Sea", the Mediterranean. No matter what distance I travel on rough waves, nothing changes here. I can never escape this shore. I have not forgotten that chapter, but I have rejected it, fearful for my sanity.

Now, I know that the day I walked on that sand, my memory, everything I once experienced, has become a book that forgets its pages. No sooner does a precise memory emerge on the surface of a page, it vanishes into an abyss. My life is written on sheets, that no binding can assemble, and the wind disperses when I brush them.

The poems and prayers I repeated once, in recitation, or with my grandmother, those that all the elders of my tribe knew by heart, I have forgotten! And since I am now deserted by all memories, crawling like a black crab on the glowing sand, what can I do but remember that one chapter of my life, so long avoided, led me so far? 

Perhaps the solitude and the tears break me apart. Perhaps my soul that dwells in this labyrinth of sand will finally find a bit of peace. Perhaps the darkness of the well of my childhood will close in on me. Perhaps I will finally find, among the wrecks and their sedimentations at the bottom of the sea, a trail to walk through the human world and finish performing this poem.


LET US STOP AND WEEP (ongoing since 2000) 

LET US STOP AND WEEP is a narrative-based participatory performance and a body of work inspired by the poetry and life of Imru’l Qais – امرؤ القيس, an Arab poet and author of one of seven famous “suspended poems” from the time of Jahiliyyah, the pre-Islamic era. It's composed by images, documents, archives, texts, audio-visual materials and objects that do not participate in History, they do not have causes or effects; They’re just locked in their own reality and decaying in time. They are also a meditation on origins; its ruins and wanderings. Along the way, one's self is defined by what identity has essentially lost and by a sense of amnesia.

Since my escape from Lebanon on a high-speed ferry, toward the end of the civil war, the visits to the country of my birth are rare. After several failed attempts to document these few "returns", I ended up discovering locations of unexplored territories and forgotten traumascapes*, extending my travel towards "home". Instead of approaching destination, the journey seemed endless, as if returning was impossible and self-exile had become a state of spirit.

Awaiting oblivion, these findings were morphed into short narrations, visual or written. Some elements were rescued out of the Treasure Island's box called 'childhood' and some were lost forever. Since the beginning of this journey, I also harboured some objects and items, 'survivors' from my own and other relatives' migrations. They became the only witnesses to my narrative footprints.

Those short narrations are achieved through a disposition of meanings, a detailed description and a creative comparison of reality. At times, they long to the obscene and to laceration, and others to the noble and to the sovereign.

*Traumascapes are sites associated with the painful past. Remembering and representing this bitter past plays a crucial role in shaping the future through learning and experiencing.








* CLICK ON IMAGES TO SEE LARGER & MORE
Oliver





















 
holy visits















Claw Machine
















swing


















Constantin



















Vassiliki



















Imru' al qais



















Georges + Toufic



















 
map



















  

slide



















Deir El-Qala'a's view



















 
Corniche



















 
 
ceader


















concierge

















intersections



















  
Burj El Murr



















  
six columns




















my room



















cursed castle



















stone house



















  
Nahr el Kalb


















  

Nabil & Corni



















 
  
abandoned painting & Abu Ali river flood


















buildings


















building entrance


















 
Karl


















Beirut



















Kalilah wa Demnah



















  
striped parasol



















  
piece of the puzzel




















columns



















arch of defeat



















  
the rock and the tree



















blue towel



















Tatra




















 
Asaad




















mule




















collage




















cinemascope




















scraps




















Samir



















 
Oliver




















palisade & neon





















electricity company





















the bank and the puddle




















sweeper



















  
snow scene





















power station




















  
Saint Elijah




















goat feet




















Red Poker




















  
lovers' spot




















  
balcony view




















stamps collection


















house



















Roy



















cabaret




















chandeliers



















  
back alley





















taxi




















 
bus



















air pump



















smile




















 
white book




















monk




















concrete & rubble




















 
idols



















bouquet




















Suha



















Achrafieh





















secret




















faith's remains




















mosaic






















  
    
my father's house



















traces



















farewell



















golden pen


















for sale




















  
Hafez




















olive sacks




















 
Holiday Inn
















 
Danny, Ingrid, Tarek & Julian



















Immigrant


















Roni


















outpost




















slogans























  
Rouba





















 
Joseph



















  
soldier


















 
Nabil




















  
Mounir, Rosi & Camille



















Grandpa Georges



















 
faces and footsteps





















El Atlal



















demolition site




















tripes






















  
spear




















  
tailor




















white clothes




















Wissam




















camel




















Karim




















night club




















 
Cosette



















  
shoes & shoemakers



















bananas




















Elias




















Tobacco




















 
backgammon




















blue sheep




















score




















 
castle of the sea



















Tel al-Zaatar


















Tania


















fuel station
















terminus

















tresaures




















  
mines




















  
backstage




















Saint Charbel's monastery



















the eighth day



















Jerusalem




















ciment church




















mother & infant





















Harissa


















Maameltein



















canon



















purple veil




















blue shroud





















Ramlet al-Baida




















pinkish




















sharpnel




















 
building & destruction





















cypress




















lamp




















  
neighbours



















Tripoli



















valet




















Éros & Thanatos




















Ferris wheel




















dusk




















auto-stop









Interview

ASNAM - Loupe Magazine (UK 2021)





Publication

SACRED - ASNAM - Urbanautica Institute (Italy 2020)





exhibition

Hafez from Anfeh - Antonopoulou Art Gallery Third Nature (Athens, Greece June 2010)

Red Poker - Détours Santorini S8mm Film Festival (Oia, Greece August 2010)

Red Poker - super8FF (Milano, Italy November 2010)

NABIL & CORNI - Depression Era - Biennale 5 (Thessaloniki, Greece July-Sept 2015)

LET US STOP AND WEEP - Origini - Dimora OZ (Palermo, Italy March 2015)

NABIL & CORNI - Origini - Museo Riso (Palermo, Sicily, March 2016)

NABIL & CORNI - TOURISTS - Culturescapes (Basel, Switzerland, Oct. 2017 - Jan. 2018)

NABIL & CORNI - Depression Era - SLOUGHT (Philadelphia, USA Jan-Feb. 2019)

LET US STOP AND WEEP - Eglise (Palermo, Sicily Feb.2020)