Shirin Abu Shaqra

Un instant mon glamour - Film - 2009

présenté dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 11


What is a diva? A woman with an extraordinary talent, who sings to release a breath that comes from an almost divine sphere, whose voice is subtle yet powerful, and who, thanks to thought-provoking, emotional texts, sets audiences on fire every time she performs. Prior to meeting Wadad in 2006, i had been doing research for a piece on Arab music for a few years. in each voice, i was searching for the briny air of the sea, for the power of the mountain climate, the crystallized aridness of the desert, or the sophistication of a city-dweller like Wadad. Each time we met, she would present me with archives, songs, and confidences. When no older than nine, she was already singing live on the radio. For decades since then her voice has been broadcast almost every day on Arab radio stations. With a voice as flexible as her register, Wadad sings about "woman," in every conceivable guise - as a Bergman, a Fellini, or a Fassbinder might have filmed her. She has freed herself from the laws of social class and can adopt any accent. Her recipe is simple, but no-one else has managed it. And yet her Jewish origins, her conversion to islam, her tumultuous love affairs, her stormy character, her stage rivals and the political situation pushed her steadily towards anonymity. This is a poetic essay rather than a documentary. A journey through some mind-blowing music that attempts, using events in her life and her songs, to paint the portrait of a diva. the film is a mosaic, a song that alternates real and imaginary sequences, narrative and chorus, historical testimony and lyricism, juggling with historical periods in a mix of media and timeframes. Wadad died on February 20, 2009.

Shirin Abu Shaqra


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing