Turning the basement of Dar Rosa into a rehearsal studio.
Dusty carpets and a well fed cat. Water bottles on puffs. Cleaning by flooding. Broomstick broken by eager male company member. Le planning is on its way.
Quick lunch venture into Mutuelleville, nothing food useful for ages. Eventually kafteji and freshly squeezed orange juice, y3yshek.
Waiting in the sun for our Tunisian collaborators. We went to Lecoq so we are all wearing black. Fear that nobody will show up. Then Nour arrives. He tells us all theatre styles are being tested in Tunisia, theatre makers are searching, exploring. In May 2011, the year of the revolution, he was in a performance with actors with very different political visions of the future. Le festin des rats, it was called. Reminded me of Elo telling us yesterday over dinner that a friend of hers had to go through an "exposure to rats" therapy process to get rid of her phobia of rats. Rats were gradually introduced into her life: she had to see a photo of a rat one day, then stick a photo of a rat behind her phone, and after gradually building up the rat presence in her sensory world she finally got to touch one without being afraid of it. Medicalisation of fear. Rationalised steps to getting over fears.
Mouin also joins us and we begin the work session. All nervous at first so speaking fast, not giving each other much time to react, trying to get exercises "right". Later manage to find together a way to all come to a run and then come to a stop as a group. Exploration of the space that for the next two weeks will become our studio. Each found a place within it where they feel happiest and a place where they feel least comfortable. Among the former: lying on a colourful carpet, standing relaxed in the light close to the centre of the room, sitting wide legged looking at the entrance. Among the latter: crumpled in a door frame, standing in a corner taking up very little space, squatting next to a radiator, sitting on the edge of a cold cement seat. Bodies were much smaller when it was a disliked space, they stuck to the corners, in darker and sweatier places. All were quick to move out of the uncomfortable spaces they had picked out for themselves.
Automatic writing in our own languages related to fear: rat, stuck, fuire, pipi.
What energy carries you through the walk towards a place you know will be uncomfortable/a place you know you will not like staying in? What comes before uttering a word of fear?
Meeting J in the Circolo Italiano. We need membership cards to get into the Circolo now, its a new rule. Security man looking more pro than usual. Forgot to tell the others that carrying their passports with them might be a good idea. The Circolo was empty. We asked J to give us tips of strategies for recording interviews. J said in her experience if someone doesn't want their voice to be recorded there is no point in insisting, they are just going to feel uncomfortable. Be careful of "le plop", listen to what you are recording through headphones to avoid saturation. If you know in advance that someone has agreed to be interviewed and for their voice to be recorded then press play before the interview has begun, to catch all those ambience noises that could make that world come to life were you to hear it (the opening for the front door, the coffee machine in the kitchen). As J's teacher said, "ça doit être agréable à écouter", so look out for all those noises that might turn the incredible things someone is saying into something you don't want to be listening to. In her experience women don't tend to be very open to the idea of answering questions in French and being recorded. Like women in France as well, women generally are more reticent than men to having their voices recorded, more apprehensive about saying things they might regret or things they are not a hundred percent sure about.