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. I then express gratitude to the earth. “Thank you for supporting. Thank you for regenrating. Thank you for living. Thank you for nurtering. Thank you…”  I get up, barefoot and cross the audience, embracing on the way out 7 strangers randomly : ‘aïchek’ to each and exit out the back door.