Performance gives perspective on revolution

Posted: February 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm

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While most students have heard about the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia through various media outlets, four students went straight to the source to gain perspective on the events.

Last night in Stewart Theater, the group Poetic Portraits of a Revolution presented its first public performance of their discoveries while in Egypt and Tunisia. The group includes four young men with a strong purpose to display through art. They spent last summer traveling through Egypt and Tunisia to observe the revolutions and created art based off the experience.

Among those who took the journey were University students Mohammad Moussa, who served as translator, and Sameer Abdel-khalek, who served as photographer. Will McInerney and Kane Smego are part of the group as well.

The group compiled many forms of media during their trip in hopes of sharing what they saw and felt while in a country experiencing a lot of change.

The goal of the project was simple: inform the world about the events and revolutions occurring in Egypt and Tunisia in a way that would truly capture what the citizens of the countries were experiencing. Unlike the average early morning news reports, Poetic Portraits of a Revolution spoke to average people and presented their findings in a way that is not sensationalized.

"On one hand you want to make sure that you captured the stories in the right way and on the other hand you want to give the stories justice and portray them in a light that the people who were telling these stories would appreciate and approve of," Moussa said.

Sharing and teaching the audience about their experiences is one of the main goals of the group. They aim to encourage others to change as well, according to Moussa.

"The performance is a challenge to the audience, to continue this work. It's an idea that stories are powerful and human stories can rely understanding and we can use art to help us creatively express that, but at the end of the day it all boils down to human stories," McInerney said.

Josie Miller, freshman in international studies, came to the performance after hearing about its strong message.

"I think it's good to make college kids aware of the outside world because we don't really travel outside of our campus," Miller said.

The theater performance complied their findings into a moving masterpiece, filled with poetry, interviews, photographs and video footage.

The performance began with a story to introduce the American stereotype of Egypt and Tunisia and then followed a script that included interviews of Egyptians and Tunisians, spoken prose and personal testimonies.

Miller said she was especially interested in the project because people who are in college or recently graduated created it.

"When people are that passionate about something, it's hard not to be affected by it. It's so powerful especially when you see some people my age doing that," Miller said.

The performance concluded with a question and answer session that allowed students and others in attendance to learn even more about the project. The speakers carefully addressed all questions to give everyone a full understanding and presented a charge to the audience.

"Don't let the inspiration stop after the show ends; take it and make it your own," Moussa said.

The photographs of their journey are still on display in the Craft Center until March 2. If you missed the event and would like to see it, the group will present it again at N.C. State for University Scholars in late February. This will be followed by a more theatrical performance at The Arts Center in Carrboro. 

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Performance gives perspective on revolution

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February 2nd, 2012 at 9:43 pm