Five (and a bit) Questions with… Alia Al Zougbi
“Artists are activists – they activate the heart and the mind.”
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m a woman of Lebanese-Syrian background who recently acquired British citizenship after many years of living in the UK. I am made of the spaces between these shifting identifiers; who I am is constantly being rethought and recreated. The things that never change are justice, solidarity and kindness to people and to the earth, as well as a constant, unquenchable curiosity.
I’m a performance practitioner, and at the moment this is in the form of Performance Storytelling. I’m interested in the politics of storytelling — who is dominating the narrative and whose voices are muffled under cloaks. I’m also interested in the wisdom that lies in folktales – in burying myself in their folds to extract the jewels that are meant to guide us on how to live better together, how to be the best that we can be.
I also love working with children and young people – they are our dream of a better tomorrow.
2. Do you think an artist has a particular role or responsibility in the world?
Artists are activists – they activate the heart and the mind. Good art can have a huge influence on the beholder, so every artist has a duty to consider what their message is. This is especially pertinent in a world that is unanchored and confused.
3. How do you see your role?
A purveyor of dreams.
4. Does identity play a role in your creative craft, and if so how?
In so far as identity is a shifting, fluid thing, yes.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given over the course of your career?
Meaningful art is a co-production between the performer and their audience.
A bit more…
Where’s your favourite place to see art?
Any space that was not intended to be for seeing art.
Alia appeared in our Amal teaser video along with several other artists. You can find out more about them here:
Alia Al Zougbi – www.aliaalzougbi.com
George Butler – www.georgebutler.org
Batool Abbas – www.cargocollective.com/batoolabbas
Sanaa Hamid – www.ronakbahaar.com
Nasreen Raja – www.instagram.com/nasreenraja
Ruh Al Alam – www.ruhalalam.com
Mohammed Yahya – www.facebook.com/MohammedYahya
May Robertson – www.mayrobertson.co.uk
Salahuddin Mazhary – www.instagram.com/adventuresinfashionistan
Alton Letto – www.twitter.com/altonletto
Thahmina Haseen – www.goldentiffin.co
Maab Adams – www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK_G-h1uep8