Written & Directed by Andrea Assaf
Video Art by Pramila Vasudevan
Performed by: Andrea Assaf, Eylem Basaldi, April Centrone, Lubana Al Quntar
Eleven Reflections on September is a poetry/spoken word, multimedia performance on Arab American experience, Wars on/of Terror, and “the constant, quiet rain of death amidst beauty” that each autumn brings in a post-9/11 world. This production is based on the series of poems Andrea Assaf has been writing since 2001, spanning the fall of the towers, the on-going wars, and the current revolutions and conflicts sweeping through the Arab world. Aesthetically, the poems explore the disintegration of language in the face of violence, prejudice, and unspeakable horror; as such, they progress from lyrical to abstract and broken. The annual witnessing of autumn leaves becomes a metaphor for the fallen–soldiers and civilians … This multi-disciplinary project includes performances with interactive media design and live music; community dialogues; visual arts exhibits; open mics, panels and opportunities for action through partnerships with Iraq Veterans Against the War and other peace organizations.
Notable venues have included the 2016 National Asian American Theatre Festival at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF); The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, La Mama ETC, and The Apollo Soundstage as part of the 2015 Women of the World (WOW) Festival; Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), Mexico, and the University of South Florida (USF) as part of the 2014 THIS Bridge series; The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, The Carpetbag Theatre, and Pangea World Theater, which commissioned the project as part of their 2011 Alternate Visions Series. Works-in-progress readings were also performed at The Bowery Poetry Festival, Hedgebrook, and the Grotowski Institute as part of the 2009 Zero Budget Festival.
In 2020, we will re-create the show as a large-scale, community-based, devised performance directed by Andrea Assaf, engaging Middle Eastern/North African (MENA) and Muslim artists and allies from across San Antonio, Texas. Commissioned by The Carver Community Cultural Center, we hope this version of the project, Eleven Reflections: San Antonio, will become a model for a replicable process. As more cities and communities engage, we hope to launch a rolling series, Eleven Reflections on the Nation, in conjunction with the upcoming 20th anniversary of 9/11.
If you'd like this project to come to YOUR community in 2020-21, contact us!
Downtown Magazine — Eleven Reflections on September: A Look Back on a Post-9/11 World
Dan Bacalzo’s Asian American Performance — Andrea Assaf Brings Eleven Reflections on September to La MaMa
Download NYC Press Release