Since we had a lot to do this week, the diary entry will be kept short. Our week began with a reflection on collectivity. At the end of the second week of research, the question of the relationship between German and Arabic became the subject of our discussions. This issue arose in the context of our collective collaboration within a mixed Syrian-German team. From the outset, we were clear that we wanted to approach historical Arab themes using the language of European theater. However, we noticed that our discourse was overly influenced by European perspectives, so we started the week with discussions on Arab philosophy, intellectualism, and nationality. We read some philosophical texts from various Arab authors. Additionally, we spent the beginning of the week researching a suitable 3D printer and preparing for the visit of our mentor, Elina Kulikova.
We observed that our working process followed a certain structure: the first week was spent on detailed conceptualization, the second week focused on moving towards the stage, and now, in the third week, we were engaged in more detailed conceptual work again, preparing for the concluding fourth week when we would return to the stage. For the final week, we would have access to a larger and better stage than the first three weeks, so we also spent time preparing for our concluding rehearsal week.
In concrete terms, we created a detailed protocol for the performance of the theater piece “Autocracy On Air.” This was done to document our work internally and also to have a reference for our work on the book version. We intensely worked on the book, specifically focusing on Scene 1 and Scene 5. We also transcribed the other scenes where little to no text was used into scores and stage directions. Additionally, Reem provided us with some initial stage drawings for certain scenes. Concerning the sound concept, we worked extensively, creating four-channel recordings. The sound concept work now expanded to include spatial sound design. We also started working on drones. Throughout the week, we went on walks, recording with OKMs, a simplified form of binaural recording, collecting personal memories of escape, migration, Syria, and East Germany. On a philosophical level, the idea of the third synthesis of time, from Kant and its deconstruction by Deleuze, emerged as a guiding motif for us. This formed the basis for the idea of differentiating our stage arrangements through AI-generated graphics.
We began accumulating a variety of materials for video presentations on stage.
We also had a lot of fun with Elina. She enriched our rehearsal process by introducing olfactory staging techniques, both in the context of theatrical representations of self-immolation on stage and in the purely artisanal use of olfactory staging strategies in stage settings.