The Pandemic (2020)
door Suzanne Harkhoe
My cousin Ilias Zian approached me with the question if I wanted to submit something for the Amsterdam Museum. Now that my performances have literally come to a standstill, I’m naturally eager to be allowed to participate in something again. This is why I wrote my text with the focus on ramadan in quarantine. Don’t get me wrong, I still write every day, yet this feels different from writing on commission and completely different from performing.
This year ramadan brought with it some tensions
Where I always looked forward to serenity, I was now tense
For the first time solo into Ramadan: cooking yourself, getting up, breaking fast without others around me.
The excitement of working in a hospital, where the first corona-reception is done, went over to excitement about the unknown of a lonely ramadan.
As a nurse, I know that stress is detrimental to resistance, which is already low enough for me
Tried to see the positive side after all
Reloading and goal setting will continue
Calling my parents and family can always
Perhaps this period will bring me even closer to myself
Emotions under control, tensions relaxed by distractions
Where writing didn’t work in the beginning, I’ve now restarted keeping a diary
Get inspired by the mundane, zoom in on what we forgot.
Meditations, prayers, cooking, independence, writing, discovering new platforms, open mics
Continue training, start new training, lots of night shifts, voice training, drawing, etc.
I keep myself busy, live in gratitude and am satisfied
First time at my mother’s, a few days ago.
Dare to hold on to my newborn nephew, after six weeks
Dare more and more, know my body much better.
One with myself, a little further from my fellow man
Away from the noise, look inside
Now a real adult, I said to a friend the other day
This Ramadan for the first time hasn’t stayed with my mother
Learning to develop myself, long time ago, but now for real!
Now one with the hunger of another, not only for food, also for touch, for love, for contact
One with an appetite for connection
Also nourishing the soul
I’m standing still
No, really quiet now
Where I fought to perform, looking for more, more, more
Now I find out I’ve done a lot, pretty much
Although there are still ten days to go,
I can look back with pride and satisfaction
The ramadan in quarantine has made me re-learn the value of self-reflection.
door Mariëm Zian, a.k.a Lady General