In this videopoetry film, Hisham Bustani’s poems are translated, in collaboration with Kazz Torabyeh, into an audiovisual language, accompanied by French and English interpretations. The City is in My Chest engages the modern existence in the city, urban transformations and malformations, and modernity’s oppression and deglutition of the self.
Hisham Bustani is an award-winning Jordanian author of five collections of short fiction and poetry. He is acclaimed for his bold style and unique narrative voice, and often experiments with the boundaries of short fiction and prose poetry. Much of his work revolves around issues related to social and political change, particularly the dystopian experience of post-colonial modernity in the Arab world. His work has been translated into many languages, with English language translation appearing in many journals including The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, Black Warrior Review, The Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, World Literature Today, and The Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly. His book The Perception of Meaning (Syracuse University Press, 2015) won the University of Arkansas Arabic Translation Award. He is the recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Fellowship for Artists and Writers for 2017. His book The Monotonous Chaos of Existence is forthcoming in January 2022 from Mason Jar Press.
Kazz Torabyeh (born 1992) is a rapper, songwriter, producer, and artist based in Amman-Jordan. He is co-founder of a ground breaking rap group Torabyeh in 2009, which gained worldwide attention with its album Ghorbah released in 2011. He released the album Athar al-Ghorab in 2014, the EP Dahab in 2015. Underrated is his latest album, released in 2019. Kazz Torabyeh continues to experiment and push the boundaries of lyrics and sounds, featuring rappers from different career stages from the Middle East. Kazz Torabyeh has collaborated with numerous musicians and artists from the region. He performed in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Spain, Germany, and France, and has been featured in various international media platforms such as Vice, Al Jazeera, BBC, Radio Monte Carlo and Der Standard.