In the context of the 21st Century, where the national past time of various ‘Western’ countries is to agitate not only at the tribal, but as well the xenophobic nervous system, artists spend much of their intellectual and physical talents contriving of ways to ‘bootleg’, or smuggle ideas across these increasingly prohibitive and hostile spaces. It is in this context that two artists – one African and the other Arabic – met 17 years ago, in Lisbon. Across the span of a decade and a half, Boyzie Cekwana and Danya Hammoud have kept a nodding acknowledgement of each other’s trajectories and strategies for survival in this domain.
After some exchanges and conversations, it became clear that now is the right time to bring together all the years of smuggled ideas and concealed experiences towards a publicly manifest encounter of their bodies. It is perhaps a good time to pull out of their boots the accumulated stories of who and where they have been and how they are now. They come together so they can stand, one next to the other, one on top of the other, turning, bending and entangling around each other. 'We come together so we can both bend at the waist, reach down to the top of our boots and take out our bootlegged goods, our smuggled stories.'
• Boyzie Cekwana is a choreographer and theatre maker. He grew up in Soweto and currently lives and works in Johannesburg. Cekwana sees art as a form of political activism and is one of the founders of modern dance in South Africa. He has previously presented Influx Controls: I wanna be wanna be at Kaaitheater. Danya Hammoud, who is originally from Lebanon, studied theatre in Beirut and dance in Paris. She has been creating her own work since 2010.
concept & performance Danya Hammoud & Boyzie Cekwana | lighting Danya Hammoud, Boyzie Cekwana, Simon Lichtenberger | music Mercy, by Marvin Gaye | production Danya Hammoud & boyziecekwana/randomirekshnz | co-production Kaaitheater, Kaserne Basel, Hammana Artist House, Connexion BXL | support Pro Helvetia Cairo – Schweizer Kulturstiftung, Pro Helvetia Johannesburg – Schweizer Kulturstiftung