HEKLER Medium: War, Memory, Protest | Thoughts by Sahar S.

Sahar S.  Magic Meadow Baba (performing white clown) , Video still.

Sahar S. Magic Meadow Baba (performing white clown), Video still.


I’ve written a short statement as a response to the prompt of hospitality, in accordance with protest and as a precursor to nonlinear embodiments of war. I am also sharing in this (albeit short ) format because of my position as a differently abled person who is coming not only out of the shared war experience but the extreme displacement and traumas that come after the war experience, when one has escaped, even as a child.

Like our struggles this work has no clear begging or end, in fact we might find the purposed begging somewhat abrasive. Considering the mortality of language I am thinking through the irrevocable discontinuity of time as a narrative imposition, or initiative to unwind an otherwise convoluted idea schema assigned to my bodies memory as a Middle Eastern American living in America. Western Time does this though the linear framework of history and time presented by the colonial and neo colonial project. I added the text “Black Quantum Futurism” which I was introduced to though an experimental lecture performance by Moor Mother Goddess. Which includes many contributors, (Rasheed Philips, Warren C. Longmire, Almah Lavan, Joy Kmt, Thomas Stanley, and Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani;) as a reference to and way to potentially think through traditional Western notions of time as limited by a colonial need to own and name bodies, places, things, and time itself, and to rediscover, to claim, and name, forms of revelatory and deep time which have existed globally before its conception. I am interested in the parallels in understanding my own intuitive relationship to time as a person displaced from my culture and country of origin through the lens of radical black thought in this country and so have purposed this text as a reference for the zine and audience as a powerful point of departure and beginning.

In my work I am posing a question through the nonsensical and the repetitive, I am working to translate and think about the systems of economy, which govern our bodies and relationships to one another. And when my father walks through his relationship to economy as a displaced homeless “alien” who finds a way to support himself through his art at a pedestrian level. I ask myself: what in fact is the American dream? And I answer: Id rather actually dream than be completely legible. That is how this experience which I would rename the American Dream lives in me and my psyche and sense of self. What is more real: the landscape that seems artificially perfect as a dead forest meadow or the green screen portal that makes up my body and attempts to translate my fathers immigrant refugee experience while paralleling my own, through a kind of visual storytelling language that refuses these systems.

I included My Babarian’s Creative Time Summit performance and the accompanying article “Just-in-Time /Performance and the Aesthetic of Precarity” by Shannon Jackson, because in their performance we are faced with the magic of play as a space to unwind rewind and dismantle the colonial clock. Through play My Barbarian invokes a collaborative performance with the audience, which asks us in Paolo Virno’s terms in the accompanying article, to reconsider the narrative of virtuosity and reposition it, as it’s potential opposite, within the post fordist context,

“Each of us is, and has always been a virtuoso, a performing artist, at times mediocre and awkward, but in any event a virtuoso,” says Virno.  It is my intention in referencing My Barbarian to think through the ways Capitalism lives in time and keeps time in our bodies. If time is molded by and attached to capitalism, What then is our conception of time- if limited to my role as a laborer in a post-fordist society? In turn how does language fail under these constraints?

What is time if it is capitol?

I would say that at the least, it is limited by its own domain, which has in fact been removed from its true body; in other words Displaced.

Lastly, within the framework of questioning times displacement I would say that I am currently thinking through the potential to speed up and slow down time through technology in relationship to disability, and the potentials in healing, and otherwise, which could come from such an exploration.

Thank you!