Written By: Mudar Alhajji
With quotations from B. Traven's "The Death Ship"
Between life and death … loneliness, perhaps … Barsach separates between two worlds … a homeland killed by war … a new homeland that I do not know. Barsach is a personal experience for the Syrian artist Mudar Alhajji who traveled to Germany in 2015 after the war raged across Syria for years. He had no choice but to flee to Lebanon and then to Europe as a refugee. Mudar’s experience is filled with personal feelings regarding loneliness, a sense of separation from the world, and the search for the self. Alhajji in this work combines his own experience with a reading of the novel "The Death Ship" by B. Traven.
Dramaturg and playwright, born in Idlib, 1981. Mudar is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts, Department of Theater Studies in the year 2004. For years, he has worked as a designer for interactive activities for children and as a coach for the teams that offer these activities. He participated in a number of writing workshops and artistic residencies in Europe and the Arab world. Mudar is a founding member of the street theater writing workshop that worked on providing texts about Damascus, and a member of the Eitijahat- Independent Culture foundation team. In 2013, he launched the (Ket, ket, ket) project for writing and documentation workshops with Syrian refugees in (Beirut, Graz, Dresden, Berlin, Zurich), after he immigrated to Germany in 2015 and settled in Berlin. In 2017, he founded the Maqloubah theater gathering in Germany / Mülheim an der Ruhr, and in Berlin he founded the Norse Foundation to support immigrant artists coming to Germany.
Erik Altorfer studied German and English literature and linguistics at the University of Zurich and was an assistant director at the Schauspielhaus Zurich. Since 1997, he has worked as director and dramaturg with a focus on contemporary writing and projects that assume various artistic styles in theaters and festivals in Germany, Austria, England, Argentina and Switzerland. Since 2011 he has been teaching at the Zurich Academy of the Arts (faculty of theater: directing and dramaturgy). He directed and adapted radio plays for German and Swiss radio stations. In 2019, he curated the audio drama / blog production “Sounds like a Whisper” at Theatre is a Must festival in Alexandria. In the same year, he was responsible for the production of audio plays for children with students from the Zurich Academy of the Arts. Together with the Syrian playwright Mudar Alhaggi, he led writing/theatre workshops with refugees in Beirut, Graz (Austria) and Zurich (Switzerland).
The musician Martin Schütz works as an improviser and composer with electric and acoustic cello and electronic means. He lives in Biel/ Bienne and is active in the city’s extremely lively music scene. Until 2017 he was a member of the legendary trio “koch-schütz-studer”. He has been active for many years as an improvising cellist on the inter- national improvised music scene. As a composer and live musician he has appeared in the theatre with directors such as Christoph Marthaler, Luc Bondy, Christoph Frick and others. He also regularly writes and produces music for radio plays, dance and film. 2004 Culture Prize of the City of Biel/Bienne and 2011 Music Prize of the Canton of Bern. He is also the Curator for the festival EAR WE ARE Biel/Bienne and the Musikfestival Bern. Find his music and more on: https://musicfromthe12thfloor.com
Photos: Sandro Most, Raphael Hadad