As Far As My Fingertips Take Me


As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms touch without seeing each other. The refugee will mark the audience by drawing on their arm. The audience will listen to those who have recently challenged border discrimination. The marking can be kept or washed away.

Tania El Khoury commissioned musician and street artist Basel Zaraa who was born a Palestinian refugee in Syria to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track many of us. In today’s Europe, a refugee’s journey can be set as far as their fingertips take them. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation often means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans.

His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way – as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me.” The Guardian

The intimacy and power of the story persisted over the next few days.” The New York Times

Both a touching illustrative delicacy and an appeal to the conscience that is impossible to turn away from.” The Washington Post

A beautiful testament to a struggle rewritten each day.” The List

Upcoming Shows:
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati: 10-14 April 2019
Freehand Hotel, New York: 16-18 April 2019

Previous Shows:
Atelier 210, Brussels: 15,16 February 2019
Woolly Mammoth, Washington DC: 16 January- 3 February 2019
Under The Radar, New York: 3-13 January 2019
Ohio University, Athens: 9 Nov – 1 December 2018
Les Rencontres à L’échelle, Marseille, 22-24 November 2018
MAIF Social Club, Paris, 20 October 2018
4+4 Days in Motion, Prague: 10-13 October 2018
Kaserne Basel, Basel: 4-6 October 2018
Divadelná Nitra, Nitra: 29 Sep-2 October 2018
ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury, Philadelphia: 6-23 September 2018
Anti Festival, Kuopio: 26-28 September 2018
Eleusis 2021, Greece: 15-20 June 2018
Santarcangelo di Romagna: Santarcangelo Festival, 7-14 July 2018
Glasgow: Take Me Somewhere, 24-27 May 2018
Austin: Fusebox, 18-22 April 2018
Cairo: D-Caf, 23-25 March 2018
Valenciennes: Le Phénix, 15-17 March 2018
Ghent: Vooruit, 25-27 February 2018
Frankfurt: Mousonturm, 23-27 January 2018
Miami: MDC Live Arts, 4-9 December 2017
Copenhagen: 17-18 November 2017
Ljubljana: Mladi Levi, 19-22 August 2017
Liverpool: Arab Arts Festival, 12-14 July 2017
Fribourg: Belluard, 27 June-1 July 2017
Lille: Latitudes Contemporaines, 16-18 June 2017
London: Mosaic Rooms, 16 February 2017
Bristol: IBT, 10-12 February 2017
Santiago: Teatro A Mil, 16-18 January 2017
London: Royal Court Theatre, 9-11 June 2016

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
Peter Marks, Washington Post
Ben Brantley and Jesse Green, The New York Times
Lorna Irvine, The List

Mackenzie Manly and Tommy Mcdonald, City Beat
Spanish Languages Reviews (Chile)

One to One performance performed by Basel Zaraa.
Song by Basel Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production) and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet).
Commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre.