Arab Arts Focus – Edinburgh: Review
Keywords:Arab, Theatre, Edinburgh, Movement, Refugee, Migration, Levantine
In 2017, the Edinburgh Festival featured for the first time an Arab Arts Focus, which included ten separate performance pieces from across the Arab world. Soon, the critical responses began to focus more on the visa issues that the performers and crew had been having than on the performances themselves. However, for Arab artists at the moment (especially those performing in Europe), the work that they create is not detached from these issues of movement but, in fact, they resonate frequently through the pieces performed in this focus. Looking at six of the plays performed at the Festival, this article examines how artists engage with the idea of movement: from the refugee experience of the Palestinians and Syrians, to Youness Atbane’s use of movement to interrogate the figure of the ‘Arab artist’ and Hanane Hajj Ali’s fifty-year-old protagonist jogging through Beirut.
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