Fringe Festival: Iraqi Bodies

When you leave your home, do you leave a part of yourself behind? Join us for an evening of dance and an exploration of how traumatic events can fracture your identity. 



20:00 Dance performance 

20:30 Discussion 

21:30 Finish 


Iraqi bodies – Dance by Liza Sulaiman 

On trauma, family, biculturalism and identity 

Within this dance performance, the body has multiple meanings: geographical, historical and affective. It zooms in on a body mourning a thriving, utopian past, and transforming into the dystopian landscape that was once home. Moving between here and there, between now and then. 


Liza created this performance in collaboration with dancer Ali Zanad, who escaped from Baghdad to the Netherlands with his family when he was twelve. Ali is a constant, indirect presence within the performance. The audience hears Ali reading the Arabic poems of his father Khazal Al-Majidi. They also see fragments of Ali’s body when Liza scans her body with a tablet, like a landscape that gradually unfolds. We zoom in on the physical surface; the tightening muscles, veins, and scars. Finally, they see the mouth that reads his father’s poems. 


Discussion and reflection with Studium Generale 

Turn from audience to contributor! Share your experiences as we explore the rich themes in Liza’s performance. In conversation with the performer and a researcher, we will try to work out what it takes for someone to feel like they belong.