MP6: Contemporary Art Festival from the Arab World / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE

MP6: Contemporary Art Festival from the Arab World

Laila Soliman

11 Μαρτίου 2012
Upper Stage
A series of documentary performances addressing police and military violence today in Egypt.
10 € | Concs. 5 €
2-sessions ticket: 14 €
3-sessions ticket: 18 €
Meeting Points All ticket
The event is a Marathon of Solos and Performances session of Meeting Points 6

No Time for Art / 0 & 1 (2011-12)

No Time For Art / 0
Interactive performance to honor the martyrs of the revolution.

No Time For Art / 1
A performance combining and intercutting three first hand testimonies; comparing police and military violence and injustice before and after the Egyptian Revolution. A young blind musician, a young prisoner’s testimony given voice by his sister, and a young actor tell their stories as one.

Civics, Lesson 1:
How to represent a real criminal?
Molotov cocktails are needed, knives and bombs made of tea also.
A soldier spreads them out properly before the young man and he quickly even sets up some lightning. A real mise-en-scène for a ‘real’ television process.
During the commercial break the torture continues.

In No Time For Art / 1, Laila Soliman condenses notes from diaries and personal accounts into her own process.  Between shock and anger, despair and sarcasm, three actors play different roles through experiences with police and military. They complement and split plot threads, which are randomly spun around the brutal arrest of two prisoners: one in October 2007, the other in March 2011. The setting for this documentary performance is minimalistic; the power comes from the words of precisely-cut testimonies. The density overwhelms and moves. Powerlessness and resistance lie, in this dispute between pre-and post-revolutionary, brutality close to each other. In the background, the state TV-channel flickers. Blessed is the success of the military over the "Criminals who have terrorized the community."

Laila Soliman (b. 1981) is an independent Egyptian theatre director and playwright, living and working in Cairo. She graduated from the American University in Cairo in 2004 with a degree in Theatre and Arabic Literature. Shortly after, she directed Naomi Wallace’s Retreating World. In 2006, she staged Ghorba, images of alienation, an original text based on a process of improvisation with the actors of the play. Soliman’s work has at its roots a belief in the role of theatre and art as tools for empowering the individual and aiding personal expression. This is reflected in her involvement in the founding of Cairo to Camps in 2002, a project based on conducting art workshops targeting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, as well as raising awareness and solidarity in Egypt regarding the issue of refugees.  

In 2008, the Royal Court Theatre in London, granted her a residency for emerging playwrights. Her play Egyptian Products was stage-read in London, New York and Beirut. She also worked as a dramaturge on Swiss director’s Stefan Kaegi’s documentary theatre piece Radio Muezzin. In 2009, she directed …At your service!, a play based on an adaptation of two plays by Harold Pinter and Fo/Rame at the Hanager theatre, Cairo. In 2010, she wrote and directed the first Arabic adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening, staged in Cairo, Alexandria, Damascus and Beirut. In 2011 she co-directed with Ruud Gielens the critically acclaimed performance Lessons in Revolting created with 10 other Egyptian artists in the follow-up of the revolution.


A series of documentary performances addressing police and military violence today in Egypt.
Diaries, testimonies, sounds, movements, bullets, resistance and whatever makes a revolution.

Concept & Director: Laila Soliman
Actors: Mina El Naggar, Mustafa Said, Shereen Hegazy, Zainab Magdy
Production & technics: Ruud Gielens
In English with surtitles in Greek