No Grave in the Earth: <i>Antigone's Emigration</i> and Arab Circulations

Edward Ziter

in Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586196
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191728754 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

No Grave in the Earth: Antigone's Emigration and Arab Circulations

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The well-known Syrian star of film and television, Jihad Saad, staged Antigone's Emigration in 2006 to a packed audience at the Damascus International Theatre Festival. The play — which literally depicts a woman persecuted and forced into flight by war between two brothers — was performed in a city reeling from an influx of Iraqi refugees as the result of violence between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. Using the line ‘who has no homeland has no grave in the earth’, this chapter focuses on the way the production depicted ‘authority's violent displacement of its opponents, systematically erasing any memory of resistance from the homeland and any memory of the homeland from those who resist’. It argues that the production implicitly transforms Antigone into a searing analysis of violence in the Arab world and its effects on women.

Keywords: Greek tragedy; Antigone; classics; theatre; Syrian theatre; Jihad Saad; Antigone's Emigation; Damascus International Theatre Festival; exile

Chapter.  7990 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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