Yan Duyvendak and Omar Ghayatt, artists and performers from Switzerland and Egypt respectively, will present ‘Still in Paradise’ at the International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFOK), Thrissur and at OddBird Theatre in New Delhi.
27 & 28 January 2018
at ITFOK, the International Theatre Festival of Kerala, Thrissur
Venue: Bal Bhavan Terrace Theatre at 7:00 pm
Entry as per festival rules
Suitable for audiences aged 12 years and above.
Entails audience participation.
Still in Paradise
“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. Duration of the play: 2 hours
Language of the play: English
Cast and credits:
Conception & performance : Yan Duyvendak & Omar Ghayatt
Translation & performance : Samy Ebeid
Set design in collaboration with Sylvie Kleiber
Graphic design Nicolas Robel, B.u.L.b. grafix
Management : Marine Magnin
Tour management : Judith Martin
Production & communication : Charlotte Terrapon
Technics : Gaël Grivet
Production : Dreams Come True, Geneva
Coproduction : Théâtre de l’Arsenic – Lausanne, Dampfzentrale Bern, Théâtre du GRÜ – Geneva, La Bâtie-Festival de Genève Joint realisation FRAC Alsace, Montévidéo – Marseille
About Yan Duyvendak
Born in the Netherlands, lives between Genève and Marseille. Trained at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel de Genève, he works in contemporary performance and live art since 1995. Since then, he has produced a chain of créations and performances at venues including Fondation Cartier, Paris / EXIT performing arts festival in Helsinki / Art Unlimited Basel / Museo Reina Sofi a in Madrid / Ménagerie de verre, Paris / Vooruit, Ghent / Festival d’Avignon / Theaterspektakel, Zurich / Theater Formen festival, Hannover / CDN de Montreuil / Wiener Festwochen / Foreign Affairs, Berliner Festspielen. In the course of the years, he has increasingly become a point of reference in Swiss and European art. His art underlines in particular how the overwhelming mass of televised, computer and mental images as well as our social codes and other rituals of our fun society thicken the curtain between ourselves and reality. Yet his work never fails to affirm human dignity and show the extent to which it is imperilled by our image-dominated society. His latest creations, Made In Paradise (2008), co-created with Omar Ghayatt and Nicole Borgeat, Please, Continue (Hamlet) (2011), co-created with Roger Bernat, as well as Sound of Music (2015) are no doubt his most political pieces to date. Yan Duyvendak’s video pieces feature in numerous public and private collections, for instance the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and the Museum der Moderne (MdM) in Salzburg. He won the “Swiss Art Award” three times in a row (2002, 2003 and 2004), the “Namics Kunstpreis für Neue Medien” in 2004 and the “Network Kulturpreis” in 2006. He has also been chosen several times for artist-in-residence programmes, which so far have taken him to Cité des Arts in Paris, Atelier Schönhauser in Berlin and Pro Helvetia’s Swiss Artistic Studio in Cairo (2007, 2008, 2009). In 2010 he received the most prestigious Swiss award for contemporary art, the “Meret Oppenheim Preis”. For the years 2012 to 2017, Compagnie Yan Duyvendak has received financial support from the City and Canton of Geneva as well as from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
About Omar Ghayatt
Omar Ghayatt was born in Cairo in 1976; in 1998 he received his B.A. in Arts and Education. An early interest in drama, combined with a strong sense for the visual, led him to develop his own characteristic blend of performance art, visual theater, and scenography. In 2003 he received the first state prize ever awarded in Egypt for performance art. The following years, he performed in various countries such as France, Bosnia, Turkey, Korea and Poland.
Alongside his travels, he organized a longterm project in Egypt, Sabeel Cairo, to promote performance art. In 2007, Ghayatt travelled to Bern as a resident artist of Pro Helvetia. In March 2008, Ghayatt started Made in Paradise, a project in collaboration with the swiss artists Yan Duyvendak and Nicole Borgeat. The performance has been shown all over Europe, at festivals such as the Zürcher Theaterspektakel and Temps d’Image, Ferme du Buisson, Marne-la-Vallée.
In 2009 Ghayatt received his Master of Scenography from the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). In 2010 Omar Ghayatt received a studio in the PROGR center for culture production as a grant from the city of Bern.
With the support of
City Of Geneva, République et canton de Genève, Fonds municipal d’art contemporain–Geneva, Loterie Romande, Pro Helvetia Cairo, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council Valiart Bern, Fondation Meyrinoise du Casino, Fondation Leenaards, CORODIS