This multi-sensory live performance incorporating VR weaves a distant future in which users access the excavated home of a virtual dweller-in-the-hill in search of personalised Evil Eye treatments. Drawing on game mechanics and interactive storytelling, Nazar fully immerses audiences through visuals, sound, smell, taste and touch – temporarily transforming the performance stage in a ritualistic act of soft resistance that seeks to restore the body, collective memory and intangible heritage.

The experience is informed by an ongoing research that delves into the constellation of protection practices that have been customarily passed-down from mother to daughter for generations across the Levant.

3D scans optimized for VR. Some of the building blocks that make up the Digital Archive. Swipe and zoom to check the models.

3D scans of objects used in the protection practices and the digital reconstruction of my childhood home.

Accounts taken from practitioners and their communities reveal how in colloquial terms and folk imaginary, certain forms of slow violence have become associated with, or embodied in this strange eye. Advanced military technologies transform into a sort of supernatural power against which only otherworldly intervention can seem to provide a sense of protection.

Throughout the experience, users are invited to consider these practices not only as methodologies of care, but as acts of defiance performed to excise the effects of slow violence from the body.

Nazar unfolds as an experiential poem, culminating in a magical choreography of the senses, complete with audio-recordings of surveillance drones, motion-capture of unearthed gestures and chants that tell of a conspiracy between a people and their land, moon, clouds, stars and vines.

Nazar | Perfromance at Aspex Gallery [2023]
Nazar | Performance at Guildhall [2024]

Nazar has been showcased at Aspex Gallery, Guildhall and Sursock Museum
[2023 -2024]

Created by Lara Kobeissi
Creative Technology and XR Development Pete Roobol
Music and Sound Design Lead Sarmad Louis
Sound Design Rawane Khater
XR Art Lara Kobeissi
Performance Design Consultancy Hanane Hajj Ali and Sarmad Louis

Funded by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture
R&D was supported by Arts Council England and B3 Media

Nazar | Multi-sensory Live Performance at Aspex [2023]