September 21, 2021
The Wedding Project
The Wedding Project is an audiovisual trail dotted with celebratory wedding music and imagery from Bahrain, Tunisia, Kenya, and Palestine. Commissioned by alserkal.online, The Wedding Project is an ongoing research project investigating music and momentary traditions from weddings across Asia and Africa.The Wedding Project will exist in two iterations. The first, a live version during Alserkal Lates on 22 September 2021, consists of projected videos and accompanying audio works snaking through the lanes of Alserkal Avenue. The second is a series of four biweekly online expressions by each of the artists, elaborating their research through various media. The first installment will be live on alserkal.online in mid-October.
Composed by Mariam Alebrahim
Amirah Tadjin | Kenya
Zahra Khamissa | Bahrain
Kadhem Brini | Tunisia
M’omin Swaitat | Palestine
KENYA | Glass Islands
Glass Islands celebrates the lesser known art of ‘vugo’—an ancient tradition practised by the Swahili people of Lamu, an island off the coast of Kenya. It is a song and dance ceremony constituting one of four days of wedding celebrations. The bride’s family hosts the ceremony, which involves women creating percussion-based sounds with drums and a hollow animal horn and stick. The lyrics are a poetic homage to the mother of the bride as well as the bride herself.
Inspired by Riot Grrrl bands of the 90s and the feminist brevity of her rebel grandmothers, Amirah Tajdin, is a Kenyan film director and artist. She tells lyrical stories of women and under-represented subjects.
BAHRAIN | Deconstruct: Dazza
The dazza (or zaffa), the wedding dirge of the Khaleej, is a memorable call-to-action to turn, admire, emote, and pause in complete contemplation. This dazza, recorded at a Bahraini wedding in 2021, was deconstructed, layered, and fragmented, a reflection of how the memory of the moment is altered with the passage of time.
Composed in collaboration with Keegan Costley, with special thanks to Mashael Al Saie for the live recording.
Zahra Khamissa is a writer and observer—and in a previous life, a drummer—based in Dubai, UAE.
TUNISIA | Umi
Traditional wedding singer Reem Hamdi of Southern Tunisia (Tatouine) is known for bringing her newborn child to many of her performances. In her work, she balances her love for motherhood and performance. Directing most of her lyrics to console her crying child, she sings “Oh young one with a new dress.”
Kadhem Brini is an activist and music coordinator from Tunisia. His interest lies in researching music of the mid-southern region of Tunisia and North Africa.
PALESTINE | Uncle Jamal
Uncle Jamal consists of outtakes from the wedding of the youngest of the filmmaker’s fourteen uncles, who married in 1993. Coinciding with the moment Swaitat began his research into his own family’s weddings and music, the wedding was a rich source of visual material.
Mo’min Swaitat is a London-based Palestinian theatre director and filmmaker who trained at the Freedom Theatre (Jenin) and arthaus, specialising in the Lecoq method. Mo’min is an Associate Artist with Sarha Collective, and an electronic music DJ and collector of rare Arab vinyl/cassettes.