I Came For Couscous #3
- 178 pages
The first act introduces a conversation against a backdrop of dystopian gridlock with Mounia Akl, the director of Costa Brava, Lebanon; a question arises: “What does being an Arab man mean to you?”; a second follows: “What do we do with our age-old heritage?” Paul Mattar speaks with Abou Saleh, a former dhow singer in Kuwait.
In the second act, Karim Chater (aka Style Beldi), as a modern-day dandy, dons his father’s 1980s suit, injects vital force back into the past, and traces his path in music with Abdelaziz El Berdai; Abdelkader Benali embarks on a poetic wander through a twilight Tangier, in the footsteps of Mohamed Choukri; the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech invites you to reinvent the anatomy of a legendary Yves Saint Laurent dress.
In this third act, we head for Africa, where Moroccan artist Ghizlane Sahli interweaves her intimacy with those of other women to celebrate, together, a tongue set free. A conversation under the mango trees, in Ouagadougou, with Alain Canonne.
The fourth act returns to the sources of Arab surrealism, and recounts the great history of movements that unsheathed a poetically subversive imagination as a weapon of revolt; it continues in prose with Mouna Saboni, like a cry for love in the night.
In the fifth act, we close with the movement of a grain, a travelling couscous, which feeds itself on new influences and finds sensitive and personal ways of inhabiting the forms it has inherited. Six chefs share recipes rooted in their homelands, bridges of a kind between the nomadic and the intimate.