Mokhallad Rasem


Mokhallad Rasem

Mokhallad Rasem (born 1981) is an actor and director, born and educated in Baghdad. The war in Iraq gave his life a new direction and for six years now he lives and works in Belgium. His theater work is bold and physical, associative and fragmentarily constructed, clear and visual in its ideas.Mokhallad Rasem creates chains of live tableaux vivants, in which the universal and the individual, the rational and the emotional intersect and reinforce each other.His work is often a meeting between artists from different cultural and performative backgrounds.

Mokhallad Rasem made ​​a name for himself in Belgium with Iraqi Spirits (creation price Theater Aan Zee 2010, selection Flemish Theatre Festival 2010) and (Facebook) (Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2011). Since January 1, 2013, he is associated with Toneelhuis as a theatre maker, concentrating on the European repertoire: Shakespeare's Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet (winner of the Young Directors Project 2013, Salzburg).

In staging, Mokhallad Rasem isn't very faithful to the repertoires text. He looks for the core themes of the pieces and then creates his own universe from them, in which the image, the silence and the physical presence of his players are as important as the words and the story. Additionally, Mokhallad Rasem created at Toneelhuis (in coproduction with Moussem) the small visual performance Waiting, which won an award at the BE Festival in Birmingham.

Mokhallad Rasem also works for other houses as a director. Within the framework of GEN2020 he directed the shadow play Life's but a walking shadow for t'Arsenaal in 2013. In 2014 he made Djinny, an enchanting children's performance about missing someone, at De Maan. At Malpertuis, he directed late 2014 Closed Curtains, a performance about the relationship between politics and art.

From this season on Mokhallad Rasem will also create more intimate work in Toneelhuis. For example his version of Othello (for small and larger stages). Apart from that he'll create together with a number of theater makers from the Middle East and North Africa Body Revolution, a short performance about the effects of violence and suffering on the body.


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After Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, Mokhallad Rasem takes on yet another major Shakespearean tragedy in spring 2015: Othello. Mokhallad Rasem guides this tragedy about manipulation, jealousy and betrayal into his universe. Image, silence and the physical presence of the actors will be equally important elements as the words and the classic storyline.

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How does an Arab theater maker looks at the world today? What does it mean to wait? Mokhallad Rasem (Toneelhuis) takes a contemporary look at Waiting for Godot by Beckett and transforms it into a 20-minute performance. On stage: Jessa Wildemeersch, Lore Uyttendaele and Bassim Mohsen. Waiting by Mokhallad Rasem was awarded on the BE Festival in Birmingham.

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Body Revolution

Theatre maker Mokhallad Rasem asks himself what all those images of the Arab Spring do with his fellow directors and performers who live here in Belgium but have roots in Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Syria ... How does that feel? How do you deal as an expat with all the information you hear from family and friends who stayed behind? What does that information do with your body? How does the body reacts to violence and fear? Along with a number of performers Mokhallad Rasem will go and look for a dancing answer to those questions.

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