02.01.17 — 28.01.17
Dounia Mahammed
Interne 4

1990°, Brussels
Master in Drama

Dounia Mahammed will share an embryonic presentation of her research project with an intimate audience. Her work displays an exceptional sensitivity to language, humour and a visual way of thinking. Mahammed is particularly interested in social issues, philosophical reflections and the poetry of everyday things. Her work is intended to tell us something about mankind and being human, and swings from wonder to despair.

More info about the artist on wpzimmer.

intake interview

Describe briefly the path (whether artistic or not) you have followed so far.

I finished my drama studies at KASK Ghent in 2015. Soon after that I started a long term collaboration with wp Zimmer, a workplace for dance and performance in Antwerp. 
During my studies I created “Woudwachten” (2014) together with the visitors of Villa Voortman (an open house for people with a dual diagnosis in Ghent). I also colaborated with Mira Bryssinck on “Usotroop” (2014), with Silke Huysmans on “Manger de l’O” (2013) and with Lukas Smolders on “Schaduwmensen” (2013).
In august 2016 I won the SABAM Jongtheaterschrijfprijs for my solo performance “Salut Copain” at the Theater aan Zee-festival in Ostend. Earlier that year I received the “Horlait Dapsens”-prize for the same piece, which was also my master proof at KASK.
Besides all this I have been coaching performances of “Blauwhuis” and acted in the plays of 4Hoog and Tibaldus & Andere Hoeren.

In 2017 I will be working on a new solo performance called “ICHI GO ICHI E” (working title).

How would you describe your work in terms of themes, style, techniques, …?

Searching, questioning. Not in hope of ‘finding the answer’
but considering all answers, all questions, findings and searches possible.

A  better understanding,
of the other,
of the world,
of the human,
the being of things,
(the needs of) this planet and everything and everyone living on it

My work could be considered
growing (hopefully),
absurd (sometimes),

What would you consider your most important  achievement (whether or not artistic) to date?

Every time I care for someone or help someone.
Every time I am a good friend, daughter, sister, passenger, human being.
Every time I give or find peace of mind.

“Salut Copain” (artistically)

Who or what has been an inspiration to your work?

How we live and live together as humans.

Writers, thinkers, artists.

Ordinary people, extra ordinary people too (if there already is a difference…), old people, tall people, short people, people who are tidy, brutal people, fat people, skinny people, peculiar people, wild people, soft-natured people, blushing people, gracious people, bald people, barbarian people, non-people, flat-footed people, sorrowful people, armless people, understanding people, people who got scared, people who stutter, people who speak fluently,  smelly people, confused people, cold people, people having a cold, lazy people, stressed-out people, unpredictable people, people doing things secretly, people doing certain things they cannot resist …

People. Nature.

Which (art) disciplines other than the ones you’re familiar with, draw your attentention  or would you like to immerse yourself into?

Painting, ceramics, woodworks, literature, philosophy, psychology, social/sociological questions, art in all its forms, and more things.

Describe what your focus will be during your residency in Gouvernement?

I will be working on ICHI-GO ICHI-E (a japanese saying meaning ‘one time, one meeting’ or ‘each moment, only once, never again’) an initial investigation into my new solo performance. I’d like this work to be an intimate encounter between myself and the audience about an awareness towards the here and now, the self, nature and the others. I’d like to investigate new ways of communication and interpretation.

Through a ceremonial play with space, time, movement and the voice I hope we will start to see things  differently, trying to read and understand, and trying to connect to ourselves, to time and who or what surrounds us in a more natural way. 

In these times, without the time to take our time, I’d like to put things on hold, leave some room for emptiness, from which we can observe again.

I was inspired by a.o. Zen-Buddhism and tea rituals. The latter has been influential because of their potentiality to rearrange space, actions and sensory experiences in terms of a social meeting.

I’d also like to mention Wolfgang Laib, who is a very inspiring artist to me in this process.

Engaging in a dialogue with other artists is of vital importance in this creative process. Not only by reading or seeing their work, but also by inviting a variety of people during my research. Doing so, my work is not only “about” meeting but also takes shape “through” meeting.

In which circumstances or environment would you consider yourself at your most creative?

Unpredictable, fleeting moments that just come and go, be it in a rowdy café or in an unspoiled landscape. On my own or in vivid dialogue.

When “Big Feelings” come around: sadness, being in love, indignation, concern, admiration…

How does the approach of “INTERNEN” appeal to you specifically?

The availability of a space in order to work freely and openly. This is a precondition for an artistic process that should enable it to be surprising, dynamic and intuitive.

What do you expect from a residency in terms of personal artistic development and in terms of guidance and support?

I’m really happy with the flexible space, accessibility to some basic technical materials, and the support of the people that run the place.

Who (close by/far away, realistic/utopic, living/dead) is granted lifetime membership to your ultimate (secret) society?

Everyone who feels like it.  However, it comes in handy if not afraid of “searching without the certainty of finding”.