Cultural Initiatives in North Africa and the Middle East
Diaries behind the Fourth Wall is a writing project that relies on tracking and conveying the details of daily life within the quarantine that all the world has been living in for more than a month. As closed homes became the only space for life and existence without any possibility to communicate with the public space and with the other, except for the extreme necessity.
The fourth wall between the individual and his outer circumference was raised to shorten all life in the area of the house and summarize the relations with a group that cannot be changed or avoided unless someone chooses or is forced to retire inside a room whose area does not exceed some meters so that he can more with himself, his fears and questions.
The diary is a transmission and documentation of the daily life in which the author herself lives within four walls, away from others, from the stage, from the audience and from the characters who play them. The writing process will start from reality to take on a literary and artistic dimension if we consider that the "closing" of the fourth wall in front of the outside world is a return to the ritual as a closed space in which the characters meet for a specific period of time to present a narration of a possible life through which the recipient is addressed and pushes her to believe and identify with her. Driving it to the realm of imagination and delusion that becomes the realm of truth at the time.
The writings will start with situations from daily real life - where individuals meet to share their questions, personal confusion, and fear in front of a terrifying situation in their images and numbers that may push to silence sometimes and to chatter at other times - to take with the writing an artistic curve that presents a deep confusion and serious thinking about what is the human existence in its relationship On its own as an individual and its relationship to the other when it becomes "the other is hell" or death that we are alienated from, and in their relationship with the joint presence between them, which has come to be encapsulated in the area of the prevention meter, feelings and feelings are confined, emotions that were previously natural, spontaneous, the body loses its intimacy and sensory communication with the other, and in turn closes to itself. A situation that reflected the fragility of man and the economic, social and political structures that he founded. Perhaps pushing him to search for balance of relationships and new powers in the world.
For you to live, you must protect the other from the epidemic, or he will return to you to authorize you in a maze of infection and fear, perhaps, but it may also add you to a series of deep human synergy and solidarity. A situation that defined its laws on the principle of equality in disease. In order to survive, all people must live, or let them all leave by the thousands, all before the eyes of the world in homes filled with confusion, despair, loss and hope.
The project's outputs will be written texts that span fifteen days on a daily basis. It can be presented in the form of a podcast on virtual communication. It can also be presented in the form of readings in front of the public when resuming cultural and artistic activities.
Basma El-Ashi was born in 1977 in Sfax. She holds a professorship in theater studies from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art in Tunisia and a master’s in art theory from the School of Fine Arts in Tunis.