By Céline Papion & Deema Shahin
The First Man
A [docu]-commentary on our lives in Stuttgart and Amman in times of COVID-19.
Spring 2020, Amman (Jordan) / Stuttgart (Germany), we live at the pace of the Coronavirus. Deprived of our routines, familiar ways of living and working, we are stuck at home behind our screens. Schools, museums, concert halls and shops are closed. The call to prayer and church bells invite us to pray at home.
Since the airplanes were grounded, the world shrank to our immediate surroundings. In the course of the world becoming smaller, the possibilities to create also seem limited. But after overcoming the first shock and having put aside our anxieties, our mundane everyday world suddenly comes into focus more than ever. We observe how our perception shifts, how our direct environment, our inner world seems to get bigger, sharper. We rediscover awareness.
“We” are Deema, artist filmmaker and photographer living in Amman and Céline, cellist and performer living in Stuttgart. We have never seen each other, we have never worked together. From one day to the next, between April 15th and May 31st, we've been virtually but intensely in touch, chatting, exchanging and working on video and audio recordings from our neighbourhood.
We became the eyes and ears of one another and we were taken by the similarities of our daily experiences in these particular times: the stillness and the slowness of life, the feeling of living in a constant loop, and that nature is taking over again, the absence of people and the euphoria of rediscovering "the First Garden of the World” and "The First Man".
This process resulted in a visual and musical collage: “Every Dawn, The First Man”.
Composition and Cello
Music & text sources
Zorooni Kulli Sana Marra - Sayed Darwish
Folias a 3 - Andrea Falconieri
Le Carillon de Vendôme - 15th century
La Postérité du Soleil - Albert Camus & René Char