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Image courtesy Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

Image courtesy Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

Events - Live

I Can Hear The Barbarians

Performance by Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

15 Dec 2017

The most critically acclaimed volume of poetry by Syrian-Brazilian poet Waly Salomão (1943-2003), Algaravias: Echo Chamber takes its title from an entangled history, referenced in an etymological epigraph: “From al-garb, the West; that language of the Arabs considered corrupted, little understood by the Spanish. Also a name of a plant, given that name for the messiness of its branches.”
Its ruminations on passage, self-placement, virtual geography, human-electronic interaction, poetic consciousness, and mortality are inflected by Salomão’s dual heritage; they also confront the isolating nature of the dictatorship he lived through as well as the aggressively optimistic discourse of post-dictatorship “modernization” efforts: the torrential influx of mass media and multinational corporations, and the sterile, touristic, and militarized landscapes of modern space and spectacle.
In a dynamic reading-performance incorporating simultaneous translation in Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, and English, as well as Catalan, Yoruba, Latin, and French inflections, Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is collaborating with local performers to bring the “messy” branches of this landscape to live effect.
Free, 6.45-8pm
The Space

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is a visual artist, poet, and theorist whose work explores the interplay between aesthetic and political valences in the public domain. Previous exhibitions, screenings, residencies, expanded publication, and lectures include Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Art Dubai, The New Museum, Pacific Film Archive, Triple Canopy, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Women and Performance, The White Review, The New Inquiry, Darat al Funun, Delfina Foundation, Serpentine Cinema, among others. Book publications include a translation of Waly Salomão’s Algaravias: Echo Chamber (nominated for a 2017 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation), the poetry volume The Distancing Effect, and the drawing/text artist publication Apparent Horizon 2 (Bonington Gallery). She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Film and Visual Studies from Harvard University and an M.F.A. in Film/Video from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She is currently completed a residency at Wysing Arts Centre.
Waly Salomão (1943-2003) was one of the foremost 20th-century experimental poets of South America. In 1995, his fifth book of poetry, Algaravias: Echo Chamber won Brazil’s highest literary prize, the Prêmio Jabuti. Born in Jequié, Bahia, to a Syrian immigrant father and a Brazilian mother, Salomão carved out an early career as a songwriter to major Tropicália vocalists, including Gal Costa and Caetano Veloso. In 1970, at the height of Brazil’s military regime, he was imprisoned at Carandiru prison in São Paulo. The author of more than ten books, his poetry has been included in major anthologies including Nothing the Sun Could Explain: New Brazilian Poetry (Sun & Moon Press, 2000). Following the author's death, the Waly Salomão Cultural Center was established in Rio de Janeiro.


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