This work is a performative audio-visual tribute to the great talent of Sheikh Imam Issa (1918–1995), a revolutionary leftist Egyptian composer and singer who spent 18 years in prison for speaking out against corruption, oppression, and injustice in Egypt, the third world and beyond. A piano-forte, a smartphone, an old bulb TV, and a few lines written on two masking-tape strips compose this vision. Shot in one continuous sequence it revolves around the love song El Bahr Biyidhak Leh [Why Does the Sea Laugh], which is based on a poem by Nagib Sorour (1932–1978), a militant Egyptian communist poet, playwright, and director who also spent many years in prison for his convictions – taking apart the various elements of this love song in order to appreciate, understand, and savour its beauty in multiple ways. This video is also a document of how Arabic music could be played on a German musical instrument.
Gheith Al-Amine is a video artist, born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1973. His videos Once Upon a Sidewalk (2009) and King Lost His Tooth (2011) were presented as part of Forum Expanded. He lives and works in Beirut.