“A stark, moving theater piece by Tania El Khoury, brings us into painful intimacy with the human cost of the war.” The New York Times


September 12–16, 19–23
Wed, Thurs: 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 7pm, 8pm Fri: 4pm, 5pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm Sat, Sun: 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm
Experience in Arabic September 15 at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm (all other shows in English)

Bryn Mawr College
Hepburn Teaching Theater in Goodhart Hall
150 N Merion Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Recommended age and accessibility
Recommended for ages 12+

Gardens Speak is a full body interactive experience in which the participants are invited to lie down to listen to oral histories. If you require an accommodation or have questions, please contact the Arts Office at reservations@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-5210.

Each show is approximately 45 minutes and is for a limited capacity of 10 people per show.

PLEASE NOTE: Gardens Speak has a strict no latecomers policy. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your ticketed time slot. Latecomers will not be admitted under any circumstance and we are unable to refund or exchange tickets due to late arrival.

“Even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins.” Walter Benjamin

Gardens Speak is an immersive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted them. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the uprising. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments to the regime.

Interactive Sound Installation Performance by Tania El Khoury Production Assistant and Audience Guide Naya Saleme Production Manager Jessica Harrington Research Assistant and Writer (Arabic) Kinana Issa English Translation Ziad Abu-Rish Calligraphy and Tombstones Design Dia Batal Set Design Abir Saksouk Sound Recording and Editing Khairy Eibesh (Stronghold Sound)

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival (UK) and Next Wave Festival (Australia). Developed through the Artsadmin Artists’ Bursary Scheme. Supported by Arts Council of England.

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Photo by Jesse Hunniford.