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Ships of the Desert, Misk Art 2018 Festival, Saudi Arabia

Tuesday 30th October, 2018 to Saturday 3rd November, 2018

Freddie Meyers (composer) and Rachel Gadsden in 2018 had the opportunity to travel to the main historical sites across Jordan, and we visited Petra, Kerak, Wadi Rum etc, and the opportunity to witness and experience, not only refugee stories as part of my Narratives of Displacement project but also to understand the historical context of the Jordanian culture and the land, ultimately gave us the inspiration to create “Ships of the Desert” a “live” art and music performance which was commissioned by Misk Art Festival.

Ships of the Desert, Saudi Arabia: https://vimeo.com/299734928

"Ships of the Desert" performance focuses on both historical and contemporary desert migration, and is inspired by Gadsden’s recent artistic collaborations with refugees in Jordan, UK, and Germany, her artistic responses and research of the Nabateans Empire, and the ancient frankincense trade route of Arabia. The desert trade journeys of the past are juxtaposed with contemporary migrations, expressed through the voices of the women, sounds, music and live dramatic expressionist art performance, to stimulate powerful evocative responses. The performance portrays both the beauty and the challenges of present-day diaspora, to consider how individuals throughout history have undertaken demanding desert journeys and how these journeys influence our understanding of the rich heritage of Arabia.