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Journey of Unbelonging - Practice Session 1



Studio Session 1: with Mina Salama and Joao Simoe

We started the session one hour late around 2.30 pm at The Creative Arts Development Space (CADS) in Sheffield on 9/01/10, Thursday.
We can only actually, physically start the session around 4.30. It sounds easy to do, Mina is playing live music with his oud and ney flute, I will be dancing on the board and painting with my body movements, my feet are my brush.

What we do is not the actualisation of structure, we have to feel and connect with each other and one hundred percent mindfully being together is what enables me to create the paintings and enables Mina to compose his music.
There were long discussions on the story and journey and how to blend them together to make our individually personal stories visible to the audience. Different experiences in a structured but also free form style come together and become a separate personality in itself.
It all resolved when I went for a half an hour walk as the director-curator of the project. I needed to disappear from the scene.
I would like it to be a mystery for me what Joao and Mina talked about, but when I came back with my wind and intense approach, they were smiling at me when my first words were unfolding, “this is a great project, we know our fields and we are so connected. Lets go for it.”
The Great Hall is an amazing space.High ceilings, an old industrial work hall where some of the paint is falling from the walls and new art works by talented Sheffield artists are blinking at you.





Despite the freezing cold, Mina getting wet and not being able to feel his fingers and the orange tungsten light, that is “the” place I wanted for the first session. The Hall, broken, proud, high, empty, new and old, still home for new creative ideas and work. It has had its own journey over the years and the way it stands and functions is still changing.

Mina told me the first part of his story with his oud and ney flute. His success in Egypt, coming to London for a concert and Egyptian revolution, a death call on his name he became stuck with a suit case and instruments in London with no money. Sleeping on the streets, working as a cleaner, not being able to see his family, his newly born daughter and just in bed remembering he is a musician and this is his course in life. The one and only path he knows how to walk and now creating it himself with people who have the bitter sting in their hearts, covered with huge smiles.

It was pleasure to dance to his music. Joao captured me and my shadows on the paint, board, my feet and movements coming from the dark and stormy seas of Turkey with a proud belly dance honouring my old self and rejoicing the new, young and fired up beauty of the gentle power and trust in my blood.

Joao is completely creating a new life form out of his footage from the sessions when Mina’s music opens up the invisible doors of the bubble which contains body parts of me, dancing strong but gentle and soft like a whistle in your ear, lifting up your heart and giving a cheeky kiss to your lips. Every step of each foot knows exactly where it should be and how to sweep the board and drag the paint to create the new journey.

I am looking forward to seeing the footage, listening to Mina’s music and being the form who created the most amazing paintings by dancing with the souls of Joao and Mina.