Tota Tota… and the story begins

About the project

Tota Tota is an artistic collaboration between Ettijahat- Independent Culture, Shams Association and Collectif Kahraba. This nine-month project aims to develop the artistic skills and expressive capabilities of a group of talented, young Palestinian and Syrian refugees by creating a framework that brings them together with a group of students from the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University. The participants are aged between 16 and 26 years old, and reside in various refugee camps in Lebanon (Shatila, Burj el-Barajneh , Al Rahmeh, Ain El-Helweh and Al Beddawi).

The main purpose of this project is to provide participants with enriching artistic experiences that provoke them to ask deeper questions about their reality and their future, thus encouraging them to develop their artistic talents and enhancing their relationships with their surroundings in Lebanon. This reinforces positive attitudes and social awareness when dealing with everyday challenges and helps to create a profound dialogue with various sectors of the public, attempting to defy conventional stereotypes.

The project consists of an artistic training program over several months, led by a group of Syrian, Lebanese, and foreign professional artists focusing on various forms of artistic expression, and ends with a theatrical performance that will be tour all over Lebanon.

This project falls within Ettijahat- Independent Culture’s “New Artists” initiative, developing projects which support skilled and talented young Syrian refugees. The main goal is to help young refugees shift from being passive victims of circumstance into governors of their own lives, and relating this attitude to their counterparts.


About the performance

The story begins in Damascus in 2010 and doesn’t end in Beirut in 2013.

Hadi loses his memory in Damascus under mysterious circumstances and finds himself in Beirut.

At present, all Hadi possesses are a few distant memories of his childhood and an incomplete theatrical text that he found among his personal belongings.

Accompanied by his psychologist, Hadi embarks on a journey in which he starts acting out the scenes, hoping that they might help recover his lost memories.

Najla, the heroine of the play, dreams of studying acting and rehearses the role of Juliet from Shakespeare's great masterpiece in a private artistic institute, without the knowledge of her family.

What will Najla and Hadi do? Will Najla realize her dream despite the obstacles that threaten her?

How will Hadi continue writing the missing scenes? Did he even write them in the first place?

The script is based upon texts written by the participants themselves.

The performance will premiere at Nehna wel Amar wel Jiran Festival and will tour to several cities in Lebanon in collaboration with the Action For Hope organisation, Al Jana Association and Najda Now.

This project is made possible by SELAT: Links, through the Arts Grant from the A.M. Qattan Foundation, and the generous support of Oxfam and Tamasi Collective. 

Special thanks go to the Action For Hope organisation for supporting the different phases of this project and backing the trainees involved in the project by providing a variety of artistic programs for them.


For more details about the team and the project please click here.

© الحقوق محفوظة اتجاهات- ثقافة مستقلة 2023
تم دعم تأسيس اتجاهات. ثقافة مستقلة بمنحة من برنامج عبارة - مؤسسة المورد الثقافي