Zay el Fol "زي الفل
"Zay el Fol" is a two-part video performance that symbolizes the structure of social class that is mirrored in other societies, based on my perspective growing up in the Middle East. In these societies, wealth, educational gaps, and cultural tradition creates a wide division between classes. The performance symbolizes class structure and hierarchy using objects, the room as an environment, lightning, sound, clothing, and the acting.
“Zay El Fol” is a play on words, when translated to Arabic word by word would mean “Just like Jasmine”. The saying is used expressively, ranging from a simple greeting response to a more sarcastic negative answer to the same situation. Having a multiple meaning for the same phrase, these words allowed me to create a scenario where I can relate multiple and different scenarios to mirror one another, yet be complete opposites. In this case, I drew a similarity between both upper class and lower class in Middle Eastern societies.
The performance is divided into two parts: the first describes the perspective of a higher class, the second describes the perspective of a lower class. Within the performance, I repeatedly chant the exact phrase in both scenarios of classes: “Zay El Fol.” The chanting of the phrase symbolizes that even when class division exists, they all act the same- pridefully refusing to admit their mistakes and misconceptions, rather than enhancing themselves by comparing themselves to and learning from a more progressive society.