The Mourned

I invited you here so that you would offer your condolences. Not that I lack affection and need your attention, but because I feel I must have closure.

Al Maasouf Alaih (The Mourned) is a live performance that developed after the murder of a close friend in Beirut. The audience is invited to offer their condolences to the performer Petra in an old house in Sanayeh area in Beirut that is scheduled for demolition. The performance looks at mourning rituals as a performance and questions the violence in the that not only affects bodies but also the city’s own history and memory. In an intimate circular condolences setting, the performer narrates stories about the city and mourning rituals in Lebanon. She discusses our relation to images of departed people while circulating photographs of both anonymous and identified people who passed away including her friend whom we mourn.

Written and Performed by Petra Serhal
Live singing: Nada Burshalli
Assistant direction and production: Tania El Khoury
Research: Abir Saksouk
Set Design: Petra Abousleiman
Photography: Matthew Cassel