Bassel Halabi & Zeynep Yılmaz


Presented here is the text poet Bassel Halabi and myself wrote over the span of some 4 to 5 months on a joint Etherpad page. Bassel moved to Berlin from The Hague shortly after I met him in summer 2021.

The text follows a dialogical format, despite consisting of our internal monologues on what we have been carrying and experiencing at the time when they were written. 

During a recent visit back to The Hague, Bassel wished to present our text to an audience, and the Dabke Workshop held at the Royal Academy of Art as part of the Israeli Apartheid Week accomodated our wish.

After an hour of dancing together, Bassel and I were surrounded by people sitting in a circle listening to our intimate dialogue, a dialogue we hoped to echo our daily internal struggles that implicitly stem from the grounds of our Middle Eastern identities.

Love, pain, and everything else in between do not cease to exist in the face of our larger struggles. If anything, collective memory has the potential to be reflected in more nuanced and stronger ways within individuals. Barely anything can numb us.

(With many thanks to Students for Palestine, KABK).

Stills from Kay Fahner’s video documentation of the performance.