Mayfest: Now Is The Time To Say Nothing – Caroline Williams

Listed by: MAYK

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‘If you are thinking about someone and they don’t know it, do you think it still matters?’

Now Is The Time To Say Nothing is an interactive video installation exploring the role of screens in observing global conflict. Using stunning video and immersive sound, it follows the real story of Syrian artist Reem Karssli as she captures her daily experience of the Syrian conflict on camera. We see what emerges when she is contacted by a group of teenagers from the UK who want to see beyond the footage they’ve watched on their TVs.

Together they co-author an experience which attempts to connect a UK audience to the human story behind the news. Created over four years, following Reem into an exile which forces her to leave her camera behind, Now Is The Time To Say Nothing is an intimate exploration of what it means to stay connected to each other and of what happens when war and the need for survival gets in the way.

A collaboration between Syrian film-maker Reem Karssli, a group of young Londoners, and artist Caroline Williams. Video design by May Abdalla and Christina Hardinge. Sound design by Keir Vine and Tom Parkinson. Originally produced by Young Vic’s Taking Part.

Caroline Williams is an award-winning artist working in multi-disciplinary participatory performance. Caroline was recently commissioned by MAYK to create Can You Hear Me Now with young theatre makers in Bristol, Kigali and Kampala. Reem Karssli is a Syrian filmmaker and researcher now living in Berlin. Taking Part is Young Vic’s strand of participatory work engaging with young people and the theatre’s local communities.

“Exquisitely simple and moving. This is a cunningly constructed and heartfelt piece that acknowledges the complexities of what is happening in Syria, reminds how sitting in the dark watching a screen only distances us, and actively tries to bring us together to reach out to the real people, just like us, whose lives are blighted by war.”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Now is The Time To Say Nothing is an act of originality against our bloated commercial entertainment cinema and dissipated news channels, even as it combines surprising immersive theatrical elements to combat the disconnection caused by it.”
Verity Healey, Ministry of Counterculture

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