Performance at the Annual Autumn Exhibition 2012 (Høstutstillingen)
by Atelier Populaire Oslo/ Palestinerleir
21st, 22nd and 23rd September 2012, 11:00–18:00
Beit means House - Aza means Condolences
A performance spanning three days, based on the Palestinian and Arabic grief ritual Beit Aza. The audience was invited to sit in silent companionship with the Palestinian Camp in Oslo, artists and activists.
Silence is a key element in the piece. The silence was, however, enhanced by regular and directed disruptions in the form of readings of personal narratives; stories belonging to residents of the Palestinian camp. The narratives was told one at a time by a person other than the owner of the story.
A person was at all times responsible for serving coffee and dates to the newcomers, and making sure they felt welcome. This was done in accordance with the tradition of the mourning ritual.
Palestinerleiren - The Palestinian Camp in Oslo was, after one and a half year of existence, the longest peaceful political demonstration of its kind in Norway. The camp stood as a symbol of the opposition to a current Norwegian asylum policy, at odds with fundamental agreements on human rights. The 6th of September 2012 the camp was taken down for good.