Work in progress | Jerusalem 4

Jerusalem

Met ondersteuning van tg STAN waren Scarlet Tummers en Atta Nasser in het najaar van 2020 bij ZUIDPOOL in residentie. Met Jeruzalem als vertrekpunt hebben ze zich vooral heel veel vragen gesteld: ‘Wat geloven we? Wat hebben we geloofd? Wat willen we geloven?’

Dit voorjaar zullen ze vanop afstand proberen uit het gecreëerde materiaal een script te distilleren. Om hopelijk in mei een aantal pogingen te kunnen doen om die tekst te spelen voor een publiek.

Het creëren van het script zullen ze met jullie delen. Omdat dit een proces is, waar zij ook het resultaat nog niet van kennen, is het mogelijk dat jullie 10 versies van een eerste scène te lezen zullen krijgen. Of een opzet van een vertelstructuur, zonder dat elk element daarvan al is ingevuld. Of dat ze net voor het einde er toch voor kiezen om weer van voren af aan te beginnen.

Het is ook zeer goed mogelijk dat dit script op geen enkele manier te herkennen zal zijn in dat wat ze uiteindelijk zullen spelen.

Één dingen weten ze wel zeker: de titel.

JERUSALEM


tg stan werkplek Scarlet Tummers Atta Nasser mailconversatie 1 Jerusalem 4

Scene 1


Scarlet

Why do I find it more and more difficult these days to discover something beautiful?

Atta

What’s your name?
Is your mother still alive?
Where exactly were you born?
Which direction did your room face?
Did the sun shine in during the morning or afternoon?
What did you see when you looked out of the window?(1)

Scarlet

Do you want to disappear?
Do you want to tell me something?
Should they know something?
What should they know?
Should I tell them?

Atta

This is Scarlet
She believes in working hard for what you want
She believes in healthy food
She believes in children, in their innocence
She believes in discussions, in saying what is on your mind, not keeping it in
She believes you get cancer from that
She believes that with positive energy you can do the impossible
She believes in believing

Scarlet

This is Atta
He is a guy
He is born in Jerusalem
And he had a question all of his childhood:
Why us?
Why are we not free?
He considered everyone else in the world as lucky
Except for them
They did not have a passport
They could not travel
They could not move
They had limitations
He believes that we, human beings, are good in nature
He believes that we are not made for war or violence like, he believes, they tell us to believe
He believes in confusion

Atta

This morning I was bringing my children to school
We get out of the metro
At Sint-Katelijne
Where their school is
We walk up the stairs
From the metro station
We walk the two minutes to their school
And in that street
I saw a woman
Belgian
White
With long hair
And she had a Palestinian scarf
You know
This black and white one
And I was walking with Moon and Leo
My children
And she passed by me
I did not even look
And I said
Out loud
Viva Palestine!
And she looked back to me
And she was so happy
She said: Yes! Viva Palestine!
And I said: They are also Palestinian.
About Moon and Leo.
And she said: Yes?
And she started laughing and she was so happy and I was so happy
And Moon and Leo immediately
They are four years old
They told me: Babba, we zijn Palestinian, Brussels, Anderlecht, Poperingen and Sint-Katelijne
Because they think Anderlecht and Sint-Katelijne and Poperingen are all countries
Vijf!
Wij zijn vijf dingen!
And I said: Yes, you are more than five things
I was so happy to see my children
4 years old 
That they are aware that they are not just one thing
And I was so happy
And I said: Yes! Sah! Sah! 
That means: het is waar 
Het is waar
Sah! Masboud!
I was so happy
And Moon and Leo
They started speaking with each other
Counting on their fingers
We are more than one thing
Een, twee, drie, vier, vijf!

Scarlet

I imagine us standing in the space
I don’t imagine much more in the space
Maybe a few objects
But not so present yet
I imagine us wearing clothes
Simple clothes
I imagine you without shoes
I imagine that there is no theatrical light
There is audience
I imagine
And they’re sitting in the same light
It is not a normal show 
It’s more like a meeting
Maybe we should ask them questions?

Atta

What is a normal show? 

Silence

Scarlet

I imagine this show to be transparent 
Less theatrical
More like a conversation


(1)  Voyage to the Sonorous Land or The Art of Asking & The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Peter Handke, vert. Gitta Honegger, 1996

Previous work in progress: scene 2, scene 3, scene 4 and scene 5


 

Scene 6


Atta

Our enemy is killing us
They kill your father
Your mother
Your brother
They kill our children
Our enemy kills children

They are taking us out of our homes
They make us pay a lot of bills and taxes
They throw garbage in our neighborhoods
They change our education system to make us dumb and stupid
They stop your car and search you 
They take of your clothes and put you in the burning sun for hours
They humiliate you
They let you shit in your pants

Who is the enemy?
The enemy is the enemy
But chains aren’t sufficient to close the playgrounds *
Why is there an enemy?
Why, sometimes, I consider you my enemy?
I have dreamt that I dreamt
My voice was there, my ears were here
And I saw you and did not see you *
Am I an enemy for you?

Our enemy has no mercy
Because we are his enemy too
And we too, we have no mercy

But when I say we
I mean they
When I say us 
I mean them
Us doesn’t include me now
Let’s keep this us
This we 
This ours 
For now

tg stan werkplek werk/plek Jerusalem 4

 

Media content
Image
stan werkplek Scarlet mail Atta

stan werkplek Scarlet Tummers

The monologue integrated in scene 3:

Scene 3


They build Jerusalem
The walls of the Old City
The streets
The rock where Abraham wanted to sacrifice his son
The Al-Aqsa mosque
The church where Jesus was washed
The Islamic neighborhood
The Jewish neighborhood
The Christian neighborhood
The shop with the best humus
The best falafel
The best bread
Jerusalem bread
The Eiffel dessert shop
The check points

Meanwhile Atta is telling stories about living in Jerusalem. How he walked from his home to the Al Aqsa mosque with his father, his uncles and his grandfather. Scarlet asks questions.

Scarlet

What did you think when you saw me for the first time?

Pause.

Scarlet

What are you thinking now?
And now?

Atta

When I was young, 
I skipped school all the time.
I just jumped out of the window.
First, I threw my bag
And then: ‘Go!’
‘Go play!’
We play the reality.
We play the war.

Atta

Our enemy is killing us
They kill your father
Your mother
Your brother
They kill our children
Our enemy kills children

They are taking us out of our homes
They make us pay a lot of bills and taxes
They throw garbage in our neighborhoods
They change our education system to make us dumb and stupid
They stop your car and search you 
They take of your clothes and put you in the burning sun for hours
They humiliate you
They let you shit in your pants

Who is the enemy?
The enemy is the enemy
But chains aren’t sufficient to close the playgrounds *
Why is there an enemy?
Why, sometimes, I consider you my enemy?
I have dreamt that I dreamt
My voice was there, my ears were here
And I saw you and did not see you *
Am I an enemy to you?

Our enemy has no mercy
Because we are his enemy too
And we too, we have no mercy

But when I say we
I mean they
When I say us 
I mean them
Us doesn’t include me now
Let’s keep this us
This we 
This ours 
For now


(*) Lines from : Ahmad Dahour, ‘From “I Do Not Renounce Madness”

No, whether near or far, high or low, her heart will not change.
But I have one condition to state: ask the question:
Who is the enemy?
The shaken sky-sieve sprinkles delicate death
Who is the enemy?
The rest of the white clouds are lit with thunder
and have split into boats, while exiles were preparing to leave
Who is the enemy?
The sea is treacherous
the sky is treacherous
The enemy extracts the essence from olive trees
but the essence is in the eyes and the roots
and we shall not die!
God’s camping grounds are vast, and His exile, so full of traps, is loaded with police reconnaissance
but we do not die
we generate new life in wombs and the dead return and multiply,
between the wind and explosives they prevail
and under their clothes a spirit asks: Who is the enemy?
The Enemy is the Enemy
These locusts are the Enemy
This siege is the Enemy
Equal divisions as they split the camp between them
But the camp does not die
and here the children carry the bomb and wheat stalks, and the good is abundant in this world, and chains aren’t sufficient to close the playgrounds,
and one clear day, the children shall return in the same boats. Come Laila, come!

Your eyes are black and I love black eyes!
I have died so often before
but when I promise to return, I always return
And perhaps we believe the white night has never been?
But we prepare for it, and forgive no mistake
I have dreamt that I dreamt 
and woke up from consciousness, and when the day returned I was split:
My voice was there, my ears were here
And I saw you and did not see you
Forgive me, sad lover… but I don’t regret
there’s no time for that… but when I promise to clear
the rains and the past and not to journey far
I do it. I’ll the trees to unite
I’ll tell the sorrows to join forces
I’ll tell the motherland to unite
and I promise to do likewise

Laila is with me
We walk on rubble, and weep like this, in public, laugh, like this, in public, and make fun of the word “Why” 
No, we shan’t return to our childhood
From here, the new begins, and childhood shall return to Laila’s womb, be born in the camp, and the camp shall grow and grow, then it will run
in the direction of the water spring
and engender a world

And I shall have time to write a different poem.

-Translated by Lena Jayyusi and Jeremy Reed

https://cup.columbia.edu/book/anthology-of-modern-palestinian-literature/9780231075091

Note: As with other Palestinian poets, Dahbour is alluding in this poem to the “neglect” and sometimes to the “coercion” Palestinians feel they have received from other Arabs.