Lebanon’s Trash Theatre & the True Cost of Rubbish (INTERVIEW)

trash theatre lebanon-Trash Theatre is a free theatre performance about trash – it’s taking place across Lebanon’s coast

I think it’s safe to say that 10453: A Story About Life in 1 km2 of Trash’ is unlike any theatre production you have ever heard of. Firstly, it’s free and takes place outdoors in various locations across the Lebanese coast. Secondly, the stage and props (and some of the costumes) are made entirely out of everyday trash collected and reclaimed by the artists over a couple of months. And thirdly, the play is taking place in collaboration with the Lebanese environmental NGO IndyACT and hopes to encourage locals to recycle. So, for these reasons we got in touch with the organisers at (B)IM project to find out more! Read on.

“Theatre has to power to move people emotionally, or at the very least, to make them take notice,” explains Denise Maroney, producer of The (B)IM Project to Green Prophet. “Our collaboration with IndyACT allows the audience to take action and learn concrete facts about where to recycle in Lebanon, how to reduce daily waste and what NGOs/initiatives are currently working to improve Lebanonʼs environment.” As well working in collaboration with IndyACT, a fair will take place at each (B)IM production to showcase various local green initiatives and pass on practical advice.

trash theatre lebanonBeginning on the corniche of Tyre, the (B)IM project will move across the corniche of Saida, Beirut and Tripoli. 10453: A Story About Life in 1 km2 of Trash is an original play developed with a cast of five actors and written and directed by Camille Brunel-Aoun. It examines Lebanese social behaviour towards trash whilst injecting a dose of humour and original music to inspire people to take action.

“The play is a journey through the life and habits of 5 characters who deal with garbage, both consciously and unconsciously,” explains Maroney to GreenProphet.com. “The play offers metaphors for the absurdity of a society that ignores the dirt it is breathing in every day and the danger it is creating for itself. The title ‘10453’ references the official square area of Lebanon (10,453 km2). We added an extra kilometer (10453) to allude to the growing kilometers of trash that are popping up across Lebanon’s coast,” she adds.

Denise Marony told me that she hoped the play will strike a chord with the audience about the tragedy of trash pollution in Lebanon. That it will help ‘sensitize’ them once more to the trash all around them and inspire them to take individual action to stop the pollution. Brunel- Aoun who wrote the play added: “It is necessary that we reflect upon ourselves, both our familial and social life. We must break the infernal cycle of things we produce, consume and dispose… [We need] to criticize bad behaviour with humour – this is what we are doing with a crazy hope that theatre has the power to transform people!”

For more information about the play and when the performance will take place go to http://www.thebimproject.com

Cast: Daniel Balabane, Hadi Deaibess, Tony Kahoush, Raghda Mouawad & Kholoud Nasser

Writer & Director: Camille Brunel Aoun

Set Design: Charbel Samuel Aoun

Costume Design: Denise Maroney

Sound Design: Jana Saleh

Produced by: The (B)IM Project

For more eco-initiatives in Lebanon see:
Burning Tires the Bokja Way – A Colourful Protest Against Beirut Pollution
Green Wheel is an Energy- Harvesting Machine for Beirut Runners
Mayor Launched ‘Beirut is Amazing’ City Greening Plan

About Arwa Aburawa

Arwa is a Muslim freelance writer who is interested in everything climate change related and how Islam can inspire more people to care for their planet and take active steps to save it while we can. She is endlessly suspicious of all politicians and their ceaseless meetings, especially as they make normal people believe that they are not part of the solution when they are the ONLY solution. Her Indian auntie is her model eco-warrier, and when Arwa is not busy helping out in the neighborhood alleyway garden, swap shopping or attempting fusion vegetarian dishes- with mixed success, she’d like to add- she can be found sipping on foraged nettle tea. You can find all of Arwa’s published work on her freelance site, and check out her musing on her blog. You can contact her @arwa_journalist or via arwa (at) greenprophet.com

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