Now Is The Time To Say Nothing

London theatre news: Friday 6 September 2019

Film - Off-West End - Verbatim theatre

Multimedia theatre heads to Battersea Arts Centre in October with Now Is The Time To Say Nothing - the story of Reem Karssli, a Syrian film-maker, and her on-the-ground experience during the early days of the conflict.
Now Is The Time To Say Nothing at Battersea Arts Centre

Image courtesy Battersea Arts Centre

You're invited to take a seat in an armchair, put on headphones and go beyond the headlines with stunning video and immersive sound as filmmaker Reem Karssli and artist Caroline Williams connect them with Reem's human story of the Syrian conflict.

Now Is The Time To Say Nothing is an interactive sound and video installation exploring the role of screens in observing global conflicts, due at Battersea Arts Centre from 2 to 19 Oct 2019.

"Exquisitely simple and moving. This is a really special show" Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Now Is The Time To Say Nothing is a provocation against armchair passivity, following the real story of Syrian artist Reem Karssli as she captures her daily experience of the Syrian conflict on camera.

We see what emerges when she is contacted by a group of teenagers from the UK who want to see beyond the footage they've watched on their TVs.

Together they co-author an experience which attempts to connect a UK audience to the human story behind the news.

Created over four years, following Reem into an exile which forces her to leave her camera behind, Now Is The Time To Say Nothing is an intimate exploration of what it means to stay connected to each other and of what happens when war and the need for survival gets in the way.

Originally produced as part of the Young Vic's Taking Part programme, the completed work was recently presented as part of Mayfest 2018 in Bristol, and returned to the city at Bristol Old Vic in February 2019 as part of a national tour.

In July 2019 it was presented as part of Galway International Festival.

Here's the trailer ...

Caroline Williams said ...

"In 2014 I was asked to do a performance project with a group of young Londoners looking at the Syrian conflict.

As a white non-Arabic speaking artist who'd never been to the Middle East I was trying to work out how, or if, I should do the project.

In a research period I watched Every Day, Every Day an intimate and beautiful film by Syrian filmmaker Reem Karssli about everyday life in Damascus for a family trying to navigate the growing war.

I contacted Reem and told her about the work I was doing and asked if she'd be interested in meeting the young people through Skype to talk about her work and her life.

What followed was a four year long collaboration, making a piece of work that has grown and contracted alongside a war which has lasted longer than World War II.

It would be trite to try to sum up the experience of making this piece.

We all hope the work speaks for itself."

Reem Karssli is a Syrian film-maker and researcher now living in Berlin.

Reem made her first film Everyday Everyday with independent film producers Hakawti.

Everyday, Everyday is an intimate and honest portrayal of her family, as they become internally displaced in Damascus.

Caroline Williams is an award-winning artist working in multi-disciplinary participatory performance.

She represented the UK at the Prague Quadrennial with her performance installation for the V&A Museum: Shakespeare's Fools.

Other projects include Can You Hear Me Now (MAYK), Make Yourself At Home (Nuit Blanche Brussels), Millions of Years (English National Opera), Dad Dancing with Second Hand Dance, Shadwell's Tempest and Le Malade Imaginaire (Shakespeare's Globe).

MAYK is a theatre producing organisation that collaborates with artists and audiences to make exciting things happen in unusual ways.

As well as Mayfest they deliver many other public projects throughout the year for audiences around the world.

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