The Lions of Ramallah
As for Statue Revolution; it came as a sequel to the story of Ramallah’s lions; which describes the status of four lions upon the Manarah roundabout, as well as the reason there is a watch upon one lion’s wrist. The story goes that the watch will begin ticking in the year 2048; this is the revolutionist lion that will start the Statue Revolution of Palestine and travel to all parts of the world to spread the uprising. And in 2068, he reaches London, enlisting four other lions in the Trafalgar roundabout to join the Statue Revolution; he then invites them to an Irish pub close by to celebrate their freedom.
Wafa Hourani - Palestinian Artist - Photography - Installation - Science Fiction - Performance
The show opens with three lions sitting on the square and each Lion stares into the distance. After one minute of silence the first lion that has a watch on his wrist looks at his watch, as the Lion looks at his watch, he stands up slowly, looks to his fellow Lions, Latef and Saffi and says :
“Guys I should go, the time has come and the watch start, I don’t know why you are still sitting here! The point is not to stay still and resist. Don’t keep thinking of yourselves only as the revolution symbols of Ramallah. We were not created to sit like this. We are Lions, not statues! Anyway, think about it. I should go. Bye”.
Then jumps off the stage from the front, walks through the audience and leaves the theatre
Lion 2 (Latef) looks to the Lion 3 (Saffi) confused and says: “ Where is he going? And why is he so angry and upset? Why did he lecture us like this?”
Saffi with seriousness: “Ever since we came to this city he has been so angry, he never made his thoughts clear to me. A Statue Revolution?? His watch has taken his mind! Either he looks at his watch all the time or he looks into nowhere.”
Latef points to the empty space where the fourth lion, Leila used to sit questioning and slowly says: “And Leila where did she go? One day we woke up and didn’t find her !!!
Saffi with irony: “Leila the mother of the cubs! I heard her saying to one of her cubs that she has a friend in The Toronto Zoo who could fix her up. Maybe it was her X boyfriend, God knows” … Then Laughs “ hahahaha “
Latef: “A Zoo? ”
Saffi: “Yes a Zoo, you forget that you are an animal ?”
Latef : “I haven’t forgotten …. I am just used to sitting like this now. You know the lion with watch is right. What are we doing here ! Don’t you remember how healthy we were when we came here? I’ve lost half my body. Every time the municipality cleaned the graffiti in the city, they really scrubbed us! “
Saffi: “We have luck in life my friend but our luck is shit. A statue in an occupied country! It’s too much responsibility for us. Israel makes the people here like us, they can’t come or go The only thing that stops me leaving Ramallah, are the people. How do you think they will feel when they wake up and they don’t find us? We are the monuments of their power and their guardians. We will break their hearts if we leave them. They still talk about the time Leila left and went to Toronto”
Latef: “You are right - Do you remember the day of the invasion when the people ran from the town and left us alone to face the Israeli tanks, the shooting, the gas? What a day! God, please don’t make us go through that again. That day I thought I would bomb myself, but I was worried; maybe they would think someone is throwing stones”
Saffi : Points to his the scar on his face, and says: “ Hey Donkey - Did you forget that they shot me in my face ?”
Latef: “Donkey!? At least an animal, not like you a statue without feelings ”
Saffi: “All statues have feelings! What will we do Latef …. What do you think?”
Latef: “Latef …for a long time no one has spoken my name, I like it! I think we should go for walk at least … and think about the Statue Revolution. It’s hard enough to be Lion in this life not only a statue in Palestine - Poor Palestine …even the Lions cannot handle it! Let's go my friend the Lion with the watch is right”
The Lions stand up and start walking off the stage slowly exiting the stage they speak to each other and say:
Saffi: “God gave him the watch to make us mad”
Latef: “I like him. I never met such a sweet-heart Lion like him - You know every statue took a feature from his maker! He has an angry face but he has a sweet-heart”
Saffi : “That’s right, like you - Smart face stupid lion.”