Babilonia teatri (IT)
RAMY. THE VOICE OF REVOLUTION
21 - 22 February 2023 h. 20.00
– Season preview 2023 –
show-concert | duration 75 min
c/o Out Off Theatre, via Mac Mahon 16
On 25 January 2011, the Egyptian revolution began, which within a few days led to the ousting of Mubarak. One of the triggers was the killing of Khalid Said by two policemen, who was guilty of asking the reason for a sudden search of him inside an internet café. Khalid Said was beaten savagely and then taken to the barracks where he was tortured and killed. His body will be found lifeless in the middle of a street.
On 25 January 2011 in Tahrir Square was Ramy Essam, known in Egypt today as the voice of the revolution. Ramy in the square was singing for Khalid Said, for all the Khalid Saids, who before and after Khalid Said suffered the same fate. Ramy sang to depose Mubarak and, to this day, has never stopped singing against the successive regimes in Egypt.
Since 2014 Ramy has been living in exile, he can no longer set foot in Egypt, an arrest warrant for terrorism hangs over his head. The arrest warrant makes no reference to his art or the content of his songs, but it is clear that the Egyptian regime does not in any way welcome the call for freedom and justice for his people that he sings endlessly, and that the accusation of terrorism is completely unfounded.
Ramy’s songs, in Egypt and beyond, everyone knows them, his videos reach 10 million views, but he, for his people, cannot sing.
Not one note. Not a word. His mouth must remain shut. He can only connect with those who follow him through a screen.
Ramy has opened our eyes. Every day Ramy asks us questions and demands answers.
Questions that alone we did not have the words to formulate, but which today, working on stage side by side with Ramy become deeply concrete, deeply human, deeply political, deeply authentic.
With this performance we want to give voice to these questions.
What does the state mean. What justice means. What power means. What police means. What is process. What legality means. What constitutes incarceration. What means torture. What public opinion means. What journalism and freedom of information means. What responsibility, humanity, strength means.
To tell it, with us, will be the voice of those who, like Ramy, live every day on their skin what dictatorship means. Ramy will sing and shout it with the grace, poetry, anger and nostalgia of those who pay a high price every day, exile, for their choices.
We want to expose the hypocrisy of certain politics. We want to tell how and to what extent the reason of state is ready to trample underfoot the inviolable rights of man, repeatedly enshrined in international conventions that, in practice, remain a dead letter. We want to question ourselves on our weakness. About the weakness of a state that does not know how to give transparent answers. We want to tell how our being free citizens in a free state encounters and clashes with the dynamics of victim and executioner. With dynamics that harm, offend and play with people’s dignity. We believe that this is never acceptable and that it is always worth repeating with strength and determination.
In order not to stop being free citizens in a free state.
by Valeria Raimondi and Enrico Castellani with Ramy Essam, Enrico Castellani, Valeria Raimondi, Amani Sadat, Luca Scotton lights design Babilonia Teatri/Luca Scotton stage direction and video design Luca Scotton
production Teatro Metastasio di Prato
Babilonia Teatri is a group that has entered the contemporary theatre scene with a decisive step, distinguishing itself for a language that has been defined as pop, rock, punk. The founders of the group, Enrico Castellani and Valeria Raimondi, compose dramaturgies with a unique pace, a sort of litany carved out of the contradictions of today, brought to the stage with a rebellious attitude. They have investigated different angles of provincial life, crystallising it as a microcosm of a universal pain, tackled with desecrating courage. Courage that earned the group the prestigious Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale. Babilonia Teatri is characterised by its irreverent and divergent gaze on today's uncovered nerves. For an unconventional style that understands theatre as a mirror of society and reality. Through the use of new visual and linguistic codes it expresses the need and urgency of questioning, to bring out conflicts and tensions, with irony and cynicism, affection and indignation.