Based on two short stories by Orkideh Behrouzan 

Created and Directed by Mehrdad Seyf                          

In collaboration with East 15 BA World Performance

The Story

Binazeer, a love story and a story of illness, focuses on the psychological afterlife of wars and sheds light on the lived experience of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its socio-cultural implications beyond the individual. The plot centres around a young man who suffers from PTSD  in a care home, and who endeavours to construct his life between the real and the virtual, between symptoms and memories, while keeping alive Binazeer, the woman he lost to the war, in his blog.

The Production

Binazeer is an interdisciplinary performance making use of dance, music, video and sound installations and taking references from war and contemporary everyday life. A group of performers speak the words of one civilian  casualty. The performance looks at the complexity of PTSD, exploring visual ways of demonstrating its emergence whilst at the same time challenging its conceptual and clinical restrictions. It combines themes of memory, medicalisation , the therapeutic encounter , and love.  Using both Western and Iranian music, Binazeer is an explosion of contradictions where missiles and chocolate, Billy Jean and blisters ,  share real and imaginary spaces.

Why Binazeer?

Binazeer responds to calls highlighting the need for understanding the lived experience of contemporary crises that are no longer distanced and far. At the heart of the imminent crisis of our time are new cross-cultural encounters, both clinical and quotidian, in the context of mass displacement, as well as the health care dilemmas that the NHS and healthcare infrastructures in general are witnessing (particularly with regards to mental health). Over the coming decades, these challenges will be shared by citizens and refugee communities alike. At the most basic level, it is important to bring PTSD to the attention of the public, to go beyond abstract clinical conceptualizations of PTSD, to humanize the experience of conflict, and to make accessible to the public the actual lived experience and the day to day struggles and tensions inherent in lives inflicted by conflict. 

Audience Comments:

“ an enthralling evening, with layers and layers of experience and information.”

“ A complex piece which showed the relationship between the clinical and the social.”

“Very entertaining, very funny and very disturbing.”

“this production should make us think about what we are facing over the coming decades.”

The Future

Our aim is to stage Binazeer in the UK in collaboration with individuals and organisations interested in our interdisciplinary approach to performance and in promoting a dialogue about PTSD. We have already received an initial impact fund from Kings College London to engage with artistic, academic and industry partners for the project. For further details please contact Mehrdad Seyf.