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a place to sit

performance for camera 2021

written and created by Tara Fatehi Irani

participants: Bibi Gol Azad, Fatema Tavasoli, Nazari

commissioned by performingborders as part of fragments for borderless futures

Tara Fatehi Irani, a place to sit.jpg

‘I thought I had taken videos when I crossed the border, but when I look back at them there’s nothing, They’re barely a few seconds long. I was so scared.  There’s nothing.’

A place to sit is a performative reflection on borderless thinking in places where geo-political borders are fiercely observed, where the word border brings forward fears and traumas and the word borderless seems hard to define, like an evaporating dream. 


A hand obsessed with borders, obsessed with not crossing the wrong line.

Is it writing? Is it poetry? Is it a chain of words that happen to have followed each other in a brain that found it difficult to adjust to a new time zone? A new climate?

For a place to sit, Tara Fatehi Irani has conversations with three women from Afghanistan who have been displaced by ongoing wars. They talk about the smells and colours of border, the lunch they had the day before, their experiences of border crossing, images flashing in their mind, things they’ve heard, things they’ve seen, learning patience in the peak of fear and anticipation, waiting for flights to leave Kabul, waiting for passports to be renewed, poetry writing and the beauty of Mazar-e Sharif. 

‘I heard things … you can’t say you’ve seen things because until they take away your own home you can’t say you’ve seen it, so: I heard things.’

Written and created by Tara Fatehi Irani, a place to sit brings together words and videos extracted from conversations with Bibi Gol Azad, Fatema Tavasoli and Nazari documenting their everyday surroundings. 

‘The driver said ‘they’re putting mines  under the streets so they can control it from afar and explode it whenever they want.’

Watch via performingborders

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