11 June 2022 - Morocco
Casablanca / Institut Français
16 to 19 July 2022 - France
21-22 March 2023 - France
Blois / Halle aux Grains sn
24-26-27-28 March 2023 - France
Saint-Nazaire / Athénor
30 March 2023 - France
Choisy-le-Roy / Théâtre
4 April 2023 - France
Amiens / Centre Jacques Tati
5-8 April 2023 - France
Vandoeuvre / CCAM sn
12 May 2023 - France
Orléans / scène nationale
16 May 2023 - Switzerland
La Chaux-de-Fonds / TPR
24 May 2023 - France
Nantes - Maison de la Poésie, Grand T
2, 4 & 5 November 2023 - Egypt
Cairà / Festival D-CAF
22 November to 9 Decembr 2023 - Morocco
Rabat, Casablanca, El Jedida, Marrakech, Tanger, Meknès, Fès
11 March 2024 / Scotland
Festival StAnza / St Andrews
Nini ya Momo
bilingual performance (Arabic / English) by Soukaina Habiballah
the entire cycle of poems is performed by the poetess in both languages
sound: Zouheir Atbane from a collection of collected Moroccan lullabies in the many languages of Morocco
stage direction : Henri jules Julien
In Nini ya Momo, Soukaina Habiballah interweaves the voices of a grandmother and her grown-up granddaughter, who speak to each other through the mother's absence. The granddaughter has recently given birth to a child, and is eager to break free from the circle of female subjection by questioning her grandmother: why is she so determined to keep her in the oppression she herself has suffered?
Habiballah's feminism is not modelled on and could be described as decolonized. The poetess draws attention to the unyielding need for women to extricate themselves from transgenerational trauma: "it's now my turn" concludes the poem gravely.
On stage, she interweaves the Arabic and French versions of the poem and becomes her own translator, as if the two voices were alternating in her own body, her own poet's psyche. As if the two women in the poems lived inside her, in the exceptional gentleness and striking presence of her voice.
The narrative poem is bathed in the atmosphere of a cruel, even violent fairy tale. The performance benefits from a soundscape created by Zouheir Atbane from Moroccan lullabies collected from very old women in the many languages of Morocco.
Like all girls in tales, a girl is born with a grain of wheat
in her mouth.
The mother puts it in her daughter's mouth
and sends her on a pursuit of love and children.
With this grain of wheat
the girl can be able to return to her mother
no matter how far apart the valleys, mountains,
and poor phone network kept them.
It is a grain passed from a mother to her daughter.
So if you are alone, lost
it’s because my mother did not put a grain of wheat in
not her breast when I was born,
not even her finger…
rather, the bullet that passed my father's head
they returned it to her with his body.
I was sucking on it
until I fell asleep.