Passages Trilogy draws from travel writing by travelers from the East to the West during the 18th and 19th centuries. Developed through extensive research, the project consists of Wonders of the Sea (based on travelogue by Mirza I'tessam al-Din Tajpouri), Inhabiting the North (based on memoirs of Sayyada Salma bint Said, aka Emily Ruete), and Like Flesh and Blood (based on memoirs of Joseph Emin)
Wonders of the Sea is a site-specific durational performance. It fuses embodied calligraphy with live reading to retrace the journey of Mirza I’tisam al-Din, a Bengali scholar who visited England in 1765 on mission from the Indian Emperor. He witnessed closely the colonization of India and lamented the English treachery that aborted his mission. Wonders of the Sea explores East-West encounters and notions of wonder, curiosity, desire, spectacle and spectatorship through the perspective of a pre-colonial subject whose account is the first travelogue of Europe written in Farsi language. The performance opened as a participatory space during which the audience engaged in the performance processes and interacted with the artists. The full performance was streamed live.
This work can be re-staged as a live, site-responsive performance. A full video of the 2014 performance is available for single- or multi-channel exhibition.