Aïchek

The Arabic word ‘aïchek’ etymologically means that you may live. It is commonly used in Tunisia to say thank you or to express a feeling of love or gratitude.

 

Wearing a bright silk dress and glossy high-heeled shoes, I enter with a wheelbarrow full of black soil. I spill the contents at the front of the stage. I kneel gently into the earth, then lie down full length, face against the ground. The microphone transmits my breathing with an exaggerated volume. This lasts a short while. I then say a text of gratitude to the earth. The word ‘thank you’ becomes a leimotiv. I get up, remove the heels and descend on bare feet. Crossing the room I embrace 7 people at random. I repeat, ‘aïchek’ to each and exit out the back door.