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Two minutes: Enemy of the tribe

There was, once upon a time, a small tribe that lived in a deep jungle. They were migrant farmers, traveling from cultivation spot to cultivation spot, depending on the season and their fancy. In their absence, these spots were often used by other tribes, with the understanding that they would set aside small amount of their harvest. This symbiosis benefited all involved, keeping the soil fresh and turned, providing sustenance for the inhabitants of the jungle 
Their traditions compelled them to hospitality and friendliness toward visitors- their words for strangers and visitors translated into "friends-who-are-not-yet-friends" and "visitors-and-we-are-their-friend". If they didn't like someone, they would become "Friend-that-is-not-talked-to", usually adding "until we talk again", implying that ire was temporary and a return to friendship imminent. 
One day, they were visited by a random anthropologist. Fascinated by the vocabulary their w…
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Two Minutes: Faces are Worth Millions.

" What a beautiful face. It's perfect- and it's mine as well now."
In 2018, people, following in the steps of the iconic stars of yore, realised that their most valuable asset was the one they showed the world all the time- faces. As time progressed, a market for beautiful faces to use as profile pictures in social media evolved into a market in which you could not only hide your life behind a rented* face, but in which new technologies made it possible to use that face in videos, calls and even as a professional avatar. The hard-core communities upgraded their mirrors to screens, to see this face reflected back at them when they brushed their teeth.
Depending on the popularity of a new face, it will cost anywhere between 15 000 and 150 000 000 credits (adjusted for inflation, 15 000 are ca. 10€).
No-one seemed to understand the people who used their own face anymore. Why represent your identity through yourself if someone else could do a better job of it for you?

* Orig…

Two Minutes: I Have Become Distraction, Kaleidoscope of Worlds

Tweet, tweet, tweet, Insta, Post, Status, Snap, Selfie.
News flickers over the screen, at ever-increasing speed. A soap opera with a cast of familiar characters, changing occasionally to keep things fresh. The topics of the day are political theatre, the exciting effects of interference in otherwise unremarkable lives, the slow melting of the planet and how to keep yourself safe online while maintaining enough back doors for surveillance to follow you.   And kittens on speed wearing pirate costumes. "Why did I not know about the tiny discovery that changed the world?"
Are You Not Distracted?

Two Minutes: Time- the Silence between Tick and Tock.

It had taken years to realise that some of them lived on the tick, some on the tock, and yet others in the silence between tick and tock.

And so, when The Time came, they were forced to discard their differences and collectively pledge themselves to a system that was not natural to any of them. It did not come at once, and not every one of them agreed at the same time, but it was close enough for comfort.

Two minutes: Addiction is Life is Yellow.

Addiction is a much-maligned, muddy word. Until (ca.) the 18th century, it connoted tendency and drive, rather than (self-) affliction. Opium changed that- reportedly. 
Lives described as addiction: to the approval and company of peers, to power and its accumulation, to enjoyment and personal satisfaction (to some people, this may be suffering) and to basics such as air, food, water… and possibly even living. When framed this way, and defined in reference to this word, life suddenly becomes a selfish pursuit in which the living will do anything to get their fix, devoted addicts all. 
On that note: Marylin Manson - I Don't Like the Drugs, But the Drugs Like Me. 
Also: Addiction is apparently yellow. 

Two Minutes: A Death (2016)

With no further comment, we move on.

In Taheyya we Trust - How an Egyptian bellydancer found her posthumous stage in Berlin

“You should have winked at her,” Aida said dismissively, as if such a possibility had been imaginable for someone as timid as I was. Tahia Carioca was the most stunning and long-lived of the Arab world’s Eastern dancers (belly-dancers, as they are called today).
Edward Said, Farewell to Taheyya

My story with Taheyya begins in the summer of 2016, at Bulbuls Caféin Görlitzer Str. in Berlin. It ends two blocks down on Wiener Str 17. 


Bulbuls is a café and art space around my corner that I have grown to like to sit in and drink smoothies (1). He had commissiond us- a crew of Syrian and Egyptian artists, as well as myself, to paint the walls inside the café. El Tenneen (the Dragon) is the one who ended up drawing Sheikh Imam, with the help of Salam Alhassan (known as Salahef/ Turtles) and Sulafa Hijazis (whom we call El Hayya/The Snake’s) beamers’ illumination. The Sheikh sits happily in the place to this day and Crew El-Zoo was born.



Tenneen had the advantage of knowing immediately what he wa…