Archive for December, 2009

Read or not to read is this question

Read or not to read this is the question

I have been working by the Dutch railway as service and tickets employee for one year and half. My station is Amsterdam central station. The busiest and the most crowded central station in Holland. I work 8 hours per day.  Sometimes I work in the early shift and other time I work in evening shift. The difference between the shifts is not only the time but also the people that I see every day coming and going through Amsterdam central station. Every shift has his people and state of his own. The early shift has people and state of his own and the evening shift as well.

In the early shift people are in hurry, they don’t look around, they have rocky faces and they want to travel in a second to reach their works. Because of that the time flies very quickly. In the evening shift people are slow. They want to go with the flow but they can’t. They are too exhausted to walk and in the same time they want to go home with eyewink! The rhythm of both shifts is also different. If you stand at the beginning of the hall in the early shift you will hear music comes from the far South America. You will hear tango with high heels of the ladies and Maringa with heels of the men. Between this music you will hear the youth beat. It looks like a composed music note. At the evening you will hear the same music but backward with no note and no rhythm.

When you pass through the central station towards your work you won’t hear or notice the music. Maybe you can hear it very slightly at the back ground. It will be different for someone who works there. I am theater maker with heart and soul. I work at the central station because I need to reach a social security for my parents and because I don’t want to feel that I’m making theatre for money. Because I make theatre for the sake of art . Since the first day I worked at the central station I have began to be more creative or more theatrical. When I work I look with two eyes. One eye the eye of the service employee and the other eye is the theater maker eye. Every day I get inspired with new story. every passenger I talk to, gives new story, a new hope and sometimes understanding for what’s happening around. Central station is a mirror for the world outside. The central station is clear mirror for man to see himself and where he stand in the middle of the community.

Man at the central station is not the same as he outside. When he gets in, then is he naked from his own world, his laptop, headphones and mobile that isolate him from the outside world. Because if he doesn’t pay attention to the directions and the announcements, he will defiantly land in the other part of the land. Every day I talk (also colleagues) to 250 – 300 passengers, shoppers, employees, business men and women, young girls and boys, whores, and tourists from all over the world. Every one of them has a question and sometimes a need and he or she wants to share it. If you look to their faces you will read their stories which they want to tell it to someone they don’t know but they hold it for themselves and keep themselves isolated with their headphones. Most of people I talk to, they come to ask about platform 14A. they want to leave and go abroad or just going to their wealthy works or even going for date in the south. Every day I have a small sample of the community in front of me asking about the same simple question. “where is platform 14A” This simple question has a simple answer; follow the numbers and you will reach platform 14a,  of course if you can read! The logic says ‘when you follow the numbers beginning from number one you will defiantly reach platform number 14, unless the platforms are less than 14!

In the second world war the people of London and England in general has removed all the boards from the streets and roads. They removed all the signs directing people to London. They have done that because they want to protect London from the Nazi’s. they wanted with their action to mislead the enemy from reaching their city. The people of England could go every day to their work, jobs and farms. They could go without asking which way I have to take,  because they knew the way by heart. In the far past man could travel from the east to the west following only the stars and the sun. Sometimes I have the feeling that man in these days is ignorant and sometimes I imagine myself talking to a gentleman in black suit but back in the year 350!

Throughout my busy day at the central station, there Is question that keeps nagging on my head like a little child.; is there a different between man of this time and man of the past and far past? I think that there is no big difference from the basics needs and behavior. Knowledge is the advantage of the man of now because we are much advanced than 200 years ago. But the man of the past has advantage of the knowledge of that time. So what is the difference? The difference is that the man of the past was prisoner of the lake of knowledge in his time and man of now makes himself prisoner of his knowledge! So read or not to read is it really the question?            

Ibrahim Mousa

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Artikel Spoor 14 A

van 6 tot 22 oktober was het dan zover.
Ik speelde mijn stuk SPOOR 14 A. Een eenacter voor werk en proces. Als relatief nieuwe werknemer bij de NS, heb ik mij regelmatig verwonder over de dagelijkse gang van zaken. De poëzie van de zoekende reiziger, de vluchtigheid van het contact en de verdwaalde soms nog niet wakkere blikken.

Ik heb geprobeerd mijn verwondering vorm te geven in een stuk dat inmiddels door het publiek warm ontvangen is.
Volgend jaar zal ik naar alle waarschijnlijkheid, dit stuk vaker opvoeren, op verschillende stations.

SPOOR 14 A  is een presentatie van werk in proces. Deze voorstelling wordt verder uitgewerkt tot een voorstelling van zeventig minuten. De voorstelling zal ook worden gespeeld in theaters.

Wilt u vast lezen hoe de NS zelf mijn stuk ervaren heeft, lees dan de recensie in bijgevoegd artikel:
Artikel Spoor 14 A

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