© Dan Popa

A story told through a poetic and scientific investigation of the past, drawings, and a travel journal

A is for algorithm, anecdote, arrive, or annihilate. A is also for airplane, abs, and after.

A unearths thirty hand-written journals recording a long period of isolation. Imagined and created by the spoken-word poet Hoda Adra, this performance sees her take the stage after leaving the land of Brumania, a fictitious country where pink blobs choke women’s voices. It’s the birth story of a voice, oscillating between shyness, self-censorship, seduction, humour, awkwardness, shame, urgency, satire… as if taking its first steps. Suddenly, a fluorescent pink shape appears: a pink ghost, freed from a body that occupies the kitchen and fills pages upon pages of existentialist theories. Writing becomes an experience of returning to oneself, shared as an act of resistance.

This spoken word performance is presented in French.
A spoken word poet, visual artist, and literary translator, Hoda Adra was born in Lebanon and raised in Saudi Arabia until the age of seventeen, before being adopted by Montreal in 2002. This territorial triangle inspires her first spoken word album, La liberté des sens (2017), a rhythmic narrative of an Arab and female body propelled from one world to another. Using performance as a pawn against erasure, Hoda examines the tensions between planetarity and self-censorship through self-narrative, somatic interrogation, and voice. Her writing explores gender apartheid, aborted oral history, and the politics of marginalization in relation to female agency.

Hoda has been an artist-in-residence at MAI and Main Film (2020), and the Banff Centre’s Spoken Word Program (2018). Her work is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. Among her appearances: the Canadian Festival of Spoken WordNuit blancheFQDPlace-des-Arts, and in 2017 she represented Montreal at the Grand Slam du Québec and won the silver medal. In 2020, she co-wrote a play, Habibi’s Angels: Commission Impossible, presented virtually at La Chapelle. In 2021, she was awarded the PEN Translates prize for her work translating oral history in the book Voices of the Nakba.
Text, staging, interpretation, drawings: Hoda Adra
Lighting design, set design, props: Catherine FP
Mentor: Clea Minaker
Dramaturgical accompaniment: Marc Béland
Technical director, stage manager: Catherine FP
Additional comments: Fanny Tousignant, Charly Mullot, Pier Porcheron
Somatic accompaniment: Meryem Alaoui
Friend of the pink ghost: Lolo Sirois
Support: Christelle Franca
Movement training: Audrey L.
Photo: Dan Popa

by Hoda Adra

25 MAY 7:30 pm  
26 MAY 7:30 pm  
27 MAY 7:30 pm*
28 MAY 7:30 pm  
*talkback with the artist facilitated by Mireille Tawfiq

MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
3680 Jeanne-Mance, Montreal

514 982-3386