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The Banned Monologues

The Banned Monologues is inspired by the so-called ‘Muslim Ban’, as I was in the process of moving to the US when it came into effect. As a British-Iraqi, born in Baghdad, the Ban (then) applied to me and my family.

This work addresses issues of identity, namely, the complexities of Middle Eastern diaspora and nonconformist British-Muslim identities.

Six autobiographical monologues, interweave my family history with that of minorities and migration within the Middle East. In between each Monologue, I sing extracts of folk songs from across the region, in five different languages (Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Persian/ Farsi and Ladino).

Music and monologues compliment and complete one another, often juxtaposing cultures historically in conflict, for example, a Kurdish song alongside a Turkish one, or Andalusian Sephardic Jewish (Ladino) alongside an Arabic song of the same era.

I shared the piece with an invited audience of friends and peers in early November 2017, London, and am in the process of developing the piece to show to a larger public audience.

Performances will ideally be accompanied by community workshops, which address themes covered in the performance, namely, identity and belonging. We had a post-reading feedback and discussion, and audience members completed feedback postcards.

Film and photo’s taken by Hermeilio Aquino of Kinography.

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