rym hayouni
master scenography

ارض حريه كرامه وطنيه

land, freedom، collective dignity  

a slogan that has been with me for a long time, since the revolutionary moment in Tunisia in 2010, when we raised it in the protests, wrote it on the walls, banners that we held high, we sang and shouted it, it recurred in our writings, in our conversations, in our dreams of the sovereignty and independence of our lands. 

today I see, we see, houses bombed, falling down, turned into dust, piles of stones, dirt.

the land carries it all, embraces the decay and transforms it.  Down there, other times lie, invisible, suspended from the narratives of control and structures of oppression that dominate the realm above. 

in the past semester, perhaps even years, I have turned my attention to the interstices in cities that have been created, or rather overrun, by the political programming of urban spaces. They have become areas that have no specific function, no specific production value, no active role in the web of trajectories, signals, instructions, restrictions, power relations...

they are just there

I like to go there, to step aside from the flow of traffic, to stand in the in-between corners that people hardly look at. I am always wandering, wondering how I can inhabit them, reconvert them, activate their performative potential, claim other times and relations that neutralise or reverse the dominant narratives around me.

I took the act of strolling as a ritual, a method.

I looked and all I found was dirt, soil, biomass, decaying debris, stones inhabited by microscopic organisms, a complex stratum composed of various "others".

everything felt connected and embedded in itself. 

Robert Smithson wrote in an article: "the city gives the illusion that the earth does not exist.

but what I saw was a symbiosis of things we often see as separate, they grow, they evolve, they shift as a one, a network of self-organising systems. There's no master, no slave. I saw in the land a biosphere highly charged with inter-independent times, stories, histories, memories, dreams, identities, homes, belonging, roots... they are all there, traces of our past, inherited from our ancestors, and of our present, which we define ourselves. 

monday, half past nine, the air is slightly aggressive, my hands are cold, I am collecting soil in this area behind the railway. I haven't broken any laws I promise, I haven't jumped any barriers, I've just been following the side of the canal. I don't really choose where I stop, the ground calls me, I respond. I walked to the back of this area that has no title, I found a small door hidden behind the herbs. It opened onto a cemetery, beautiful and quiet. I remembered Michel Faucault and his concept of heterotopia, which also fascinated me during the first semester. he described them as spaces absolutely other, the city's sacred and immortal wind.

I saw in the in-between spaces of the city what I call heterotopias, a land for altered human and non-human relations, 

friday, february is almost over. spring is shyly approaching, I could see and touch it as I bent down to collect some earth.

today I had an encounter with a microscopic, translucent creature. I've observed so much autonomy and self-sufficiency through it.

Vivieros De Castro, a brazilian anthropologist interested in the amazonian cosmologies and amerindian perspectivism (the way in which humans, animals, and spirits see both themselves and one another, an idea that suggests a redefinition of the classical categories of « nature », « culture », « super nature » based on the concept of perspective). said in one of his lectures: "the experience that each 'self' has of the 'other' can, however, be radically different from the experience that the 'other' has of its own appearance and practices." -- Lecture 1, p. 51

it seems to me that when we turn our gaze to our other, non-human selves, who perceive reality from a different perspective, within a very different temporality, we learn so much about how the world is of relative semblances, for example, what is solid earth to us is airy sky to the beings who inhabit the strata below us, and what is airy sky to us is solid earth to those who inhabit the strata above us. 

it is a world of relative semblances, where different kinds of beings see the same things differently. 

in the last few years, before coming to the Netherlands, i've been volunteering on organic farms, dynamising the soil, collecting and redistributing biomass, planting wild forests... this has taught me a lot about how what happens in the soil can influence what happens above it, in terms of self-organising structures, symbiosis and, above all, solidarity. 

these last few months have also taught me that solidarity comes with love, it's hard to relate to the feeling without having love as a drive.


                            Press the Play button to start playing

I invited the audience to immerse themselves in my collection of soil and field recordings while listening to a reading from my research diary
I wanted to reveal the content and strata of soils
it’s different textures colors and the patterns of bio-organisms that inhabit it
incorporating what we've explored in the last two workshops'framing senses' and 'screen spaces'
the screens frame the microscopic scale of what is above
in an arrangement that reproduces the syntax of my experiment during the workshops


             Press the Play button to start playing
          footage from screenspaces workshop shot by Julia

MIcroscopic shot of moss tree
         shot from framing senses workshop during an experiment

visual documentation of the workshops   

“framing senses” @Plateform Nexus in weesp 

a collective experience around piles and organic elements through walking listening sensing and eating

a personal experience with a wind-instrument (un-finished) that frame the gaze and the movement

“screen spaces” @jaabeursplein utrecht

I worked on a setting of multiple juxtaposed screens and a delayed disturbed soundscape through a live stream that the audience follows via INSTAGRAM
I interact with the audience, directing them in the way they arrange the screens as a whole, and they direct my movement in the public space that they see through another live screen set up by Melissa.
everything is filmed from behind and projected directly through a third screen to complete the manifold of channels

documentation of my earth collecting journey

close-ups to  doc 2f presentation