at Skiens Kunstforening


In Skien, Words is taking the shape of a conversation between two words of love facing each other, one for me (HUYAM) and one for someone I'm in love with (GHARAM). 

This conversation of two bodies meeting raises certain questions:

What are the boundaries and borders of our love? And what are the somatopolitics, cosmologies, and theologies that shape our understanding of our relationships?

High above hangs a third word (SABABA), a type of love I wish for us through our conversation. Together they form a shrine of love - for us - and for you.
To learn more about HUYAM, GHARAM, and SABABA - and seven other Arabic words for love - please download Kalimat-app. In it, you can listen to conversations with people who shared perspectives and stories of love with me.
I invite you to share your own perspective in the velvet books provided.
An aim of a conversation is hopefully not to change someone's mind on a topic or question, but to enable us to look beyond our convictions and actively try to draw a common understanding to the best of our abilities.

As the artist Guillermo Gomez-Peña once said:


Background of
Words - كلمات

Scenography Project - Oslo city streets
Exhibition - Intercultural Museum
Intervention - Gamle Oslo
Augmented reality installation - Akershus Festning

Spring - Autumn 2021
Words/ كَلِماتْ 

A spatial happening, a scenography, started with hard feelings around accessibility and now closing in Skien with alot of love back and forth.

Words/ كَلِماتْ is a project placed 10 Arabic love words, written in Arabic letters, in the shape of neon signs around Oslo. The idea is to spread the Arabic language in places it does not have a good or bad reason to be at. In this process, I work on scenography in public space and play with the notion and fear of the Islamic world and “snikislamisering”, and how the Arabic language and Islam, for the outsider often is perceived as the same thing. I do this with a profound wish to discuss the similarities and differences between Arabic and Norwegian culture. I invited myself into 10 Oslo people's flats and kindly ask them to take part in the project by having my love word hanging in their window for two weeks - in exchange for a love encounter where I prepare dinner for a whole day for them. In that way, I made a shared theatrical event and a living scenography of the city.

Now love can be obsessive and all-consuming or friendly and gentle. It can be patient and generous or controlling and filled with jealousy. Love can accommodate all this; it is malleable and changeable.
Project by - Liam Monzer Alzafari
Dramaturgy - Dr. Jan Philipp Schulte
Arabic Language consultant and reviser - Reem Al Aridi
Narrating - Ali Danfy
Arabic - Norwegian translation & historical literature content - Sahara Muhaisen
Norwegian-English translation - Rosanna Vibe
Stories composition & editing - Sara Evelyn Brown
Costume design - Cecilio Martinez
Web-App developer - Anas Almohana / Elytra studio
Poster design
Heba Mohammad
Calligraphy sketches - Naser Khatib
sound production - Sebastian Schmiedl
Video by - Jan Hajdelak Husták
Project coordinator / SY - Sally Alzafari

Supported by Kulturrådet  - Oslo kommune
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