Dictaphone Group — Nothing to Declare
Water Mill, New York
Nothing to Declare is a research-based lecture performance that explores borders within Lebanon, those between Lebanon and its neighbors, and across the Arab world. The journey starts at a derelict train station in Beirut, and continues as each artist sets off on a different trip following one of the three train tracks that used to connect Lebanese cities with each other and with other Arab cities. Dictaphone Group's travels include visits to sites along the train tracks and abandoned stations to discover past and present uses of these spaces as playgrounds, makeshift housing, torture chambers and military bases.
The aim is to tour this project throughout the Arab world, including Palestine. In each Arab country, the performance will be expanded through site-specific oral history about people’s mobility in that particular country and about the journey crossing the borders to get there.
Nothing to Declare can be viewed at any point during the artists' four-year journey across the Arab world, though it will never be the same performance it was. Audiences can also follow the Nothing to Declare journey on the Dictaphone Group travel blog.
About Dictaphone Group:
Dictaphone Group creates live art performances based on findings and stories produced through research on space and oral history. It is a collaborative project initiated by live artist Tania El Khoury and architect and urbanist Abir Saksouk. Together with performer and producer Petra Serhal, they have been creating site specific performances informed by research in a variety of places such as a cable car, a fisherman’s boat, and a discontinued bus. The aim of these projects is to question, as citizens, our relationship to the city, with a focus on public space, and the goal of its redefinition. Nothing To Declare will be their first lecture performance. It was created in part at Watermill Center – a laboratory for performance in partnership with ArteEast.