interactive theater / happening

the project “the crystal express” was a 14 day train journey investigating the nature of connectivity amongst 7 artists, as they travelled across western and eastern europe, starting in barcelona and ending in the middle east. 
the journey involved a series of site-specific events across the cities of barcelona, paris, berlin, gyoma, bucharest, istanbul.
in creating the journey, samina tasked herself and the other artists on board to explore a silver plot of incense; a metaphor she uses to describe the dissolving of layers of constructed realities.
during the 14 day pilgrimage, the artists unraveled, deconstructed, and disconnected, tapping into universal sensibilities, what the group call magic consciousness, and like the birds in the fariduddin attar’s sufi fable “the conference of the birds” relied on their wit and the power of improvisation to tell the stories of the places they visited as these stories unfolded. through staged provocations, philosophical inquiry and storytelling, the group immersed themselves in the deconstructive nature of myth and pilgrimage. 
while creating a means for artists to explore the magical realism of archetypal journeys while traveling as a community. artists were free to immerse themselves in the cultural and philosophical inquiries that typically emerge through independent travel but are encouraged to share their inspiration and impressions. storytelling and interventions are central to their journey. instead of retreating from the world, artists engage with it directly and allow travel to impose directly on their practice. 
the purpose of this journey and its events was to seduce our senses and challenge the way we perceive and connect to the people, places and the things around us.
“the project’s theme is about essence. provoking essence, capturing essence. a crystal sparkle that connects us, a core essence that passes through us, a magic moment, a coincidence. our quest is to illuminate it, capture it, communicate it. traveling from western europe to eastern europe and then the middle east, a land once connected, fluid, has been challenged by paradigms like politics, economics, religion. we will unravel this, exploring connectivity and tapping into essence.”
june 2012-february 2014 
barcelona, paris, berlin, gyoma, 
bucharest, istanbul, new york