Rima Najdi is a Berlin-based performance artist. Her work occupies and (re)negotiates in-between spaces. She grapples with the ways in which identity is constructed and perceived, focusing on the lived experience of the body. She is interested in the vulnerability of the body in relation to the politicized tropes of gender, safety, mobility and representation.
Najdi’s work includes experimenting with different strategies, ranging from a live action or a participatory performance to gathering data, as well as interviews and workshops. Through the use of diverse mediums (performance, costume design, video installations, poster production..). She challenges established social and aestheic “norms” and push the boundaries of the personal in pursuit of the body’s capacity to reclaim political knowledge through art.
Najdi is the artistic employee at the The MA Solo/Dance/Authorship (SODA) program at HZT – Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin, UDK. Najdi’s work has been presented in several international festivals and venues. Among her upcoming and recent performances: I Grew an Alien Inside of Me, commissioned by Tashweesh Festival (2022), Dress ME how YOU like & Happy New Fear, Prague Crossroads Festival (2019). Think Much. Cry Much. Spring Festival, Utrecht (2018) Festival Drugajanje, Maribor, Baltic Circle Festival, Helsinki, Spielart Festival, Munich, SAAL Biennale, Tallinn, Supercontinent, Centrale Fies, Dro, CSS Teatro, Villa Manin, Codroipo (2017) Happy New Fear, Bodies Beyond Borders, Copenhagen, Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz, CTM Festival, HAU2, Berlin (2017).
Najdi has also taken part in residency programs around the world, including the Watermill Center International Summer Residency program in 2011, the Sundance Theatre Lab in Morocco 2016, Global City, Local City, an international laboratory platform – initiated as a collaboration between ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival in Kuopio, Finland, Reykjavík Dance Festival in Iceland and The Map Consortium in the United Kingdom.
She was awarded the CTM Radio Lab 2017, and was a fellow member of Urban Heat (2015 – 2017), a four-year project initiated by the Festivals in Transition (FIT) network and supported by Creative Europe, were Najdi was commissioned to create her participatory performance Think Much. Cry Much. Also she is the recipient of the research & production stipend of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe (2020-2021) Fonds Darstellende Künste, #takethat research stipend & the INITIAL program from Akademie Der Künste (2021).
Each time I want to cook in Berlin, I call my mom for ingredients and directions. And though we can’t share the meal, we do share conversations of our daily lives.
In an attempt to map the economy of mjadara hamra, a southern Lebanese dish, I invited my mother, Rabiha Tawil, located in Sarifa, southern Lebanon, and my sister Racha Najdi, located in Istanbul, Türkiye, to cook the same dish together on a video call.
What does it mean to cook together across different geographies, when we can’t eat together? What are the economics of the different countries, the values of their currencies, and the sources of the ingredients for the same meal? Through this video call, we talk about gas, a devastating economical crisis, and lentils.