All the other lovers

Through the Roadblocks – Independent Films from Palestine

one of us said: I was thinking we need to maybe do some research into pan Arabism, before films even, you have any books in mind? it would be nice if maybe diaries? or a novel, but we need some sort of lived history, no ask our fathers? would Warda be a source? I was thinking it would be nice to use pieces from other novels in our performance/text… to weave them together somehow.

the other replied: Warda would be a good book to begin with, at least to think of it, a love story written by an Egyptian novelist about an Omani revolutionary woman who was fighting in Oman and Yemen, that takes its threads to Lebanon and elsewhere in the Arab world… this mixture of contemporary Arab history and Arab political geography with so much attention to the socialist movement that was emerging from the heart of Arab nationalism… (did i tell you what my father once told me about how they in the Arab nationalist movement began reading marx, he said that they did that simply to be able to defeat the communists when they debate with them, to end up by becoming Marxists themselves, this is why he is afraid to read for Islamic thinkers, he is afraid to fall in the trap again)… this love hate relation that surrounds the Pan Arabism… i tell you something (that you told me once) Pan Arabism is a failed love story… and nothing else…

the first one answered: This sentence by Badoui is stuck with me; “Love and politics are the two great figures of social engagement. Politics is enthusiasm with a collective; with love, two people. So love is the minimal form of communism.” but something is wrong with it; two people make up a dialectic… Perhaps that’s why the love affair between Syria and Egypt did not work out, they needed the rest; the collective to work out… But then there is also the invisible third, the one you need in order to form this bond; to be able to recognise yourself, like the mirror stage in Lacan; that’s how we recognise ourselves; through our mother’s gaze… Perhaps that’s what Pan Arabism was about; the other’s gaze in order to produce, manifest your subjective self… Or the national self, who was excluded then? Because you exclude other selves when you try to unify…Perhaps that’s what we need to look for; the neglected lover; who was that? or perhaps all the other lovers?

Curators: Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili
participants: Jumana Emil Abbound, Basma Alsharif, Monira Al Qadiri, Alaa’ Abu Asaad

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