The concept for the Jadoo Bänoo was co-created with Iranian poet Bänoo Zan the using the Leap Motion controller. This customized networked-performance animated and projected the words of her tribute poem to Nelson Mandela, entitled Tata, on and across the stage. The disorderly path of the words was formed by the hand gestures captured over the Leap Motion and the font size was determined by the speed of the gestures. Jadoo Bänoo uses the performer’s spontaneous movements as embodied acts of articulation to translate spoken poetry and explores how the performer spatially interacts with and within the virtual representation of her own poetic text.

The projection of words rather than images was preferable for Zan because images can limit the interpretation of poetry, whereas words can be open to any association. The inspiration for the project came from Zan’s frustration with political poetry that is suspect among activists because it is multi-layered and evocative rather than stative: “Political poetry tends to go under-appreciated and evokes mistrust; it is an incomprehensive yet urgent message. That is how I feel when I perform my politically charged poetry. I feel part of the message gets lost”. says Zan who also wanted the projected words to be metaphors for the significance of Mandela’s experience, and not his biography, which is why they were designed to be unreadable and chaotic. “It [the projected flurry of words] is an invitation to experience the Tata poem in an abstract way”.

The words alternate between the colours of the South African flag to situate the piece in a geopolitical context, and a barbwire graphic is revealed as the words appear. Zan explains: “I thought colours were much better imagery to invite the audience to listen to the voice of the persona. And also the subtle emergence of a barb wire silhouette superimpose over the words gradually hint at Nelson Mandela’s long prison term that has had far-reaching impact on his country and the world” (source). Such simple elements of the project, in which the performer co-creates the design of the affected media, helped to build a stronger personal connection between Zan and the networked-performance.

Artist Director: Maziar Ghaderi
Technical Director: Maziar Ghaderi
Poet: Banoo Zan