A year and 4 days later... / by George Bajalia

Well, it looks like I only blog when I am overseas. Which I currently am! 

This morning I arrived in Rabat, Morocco to begin my yearlong Fulbright grant. I’m here on a research grant, but I’ll be spending the first few months doing an Arabic intensive program in Fez. I’m here in Rabat for the next few days as part of the Fulbright orientation. After a few months in Fez, I’ll be making my way to Tangier, where I’ll continue some of the work I left off last summer. We’ll see how long it takes me to get to Tangier though, because I’ve heard Fez has a thriving theatre scene. 

My research, in general, involves studying the cultural dimensions of globalization. Everyone is always talking about the financial aspects of globalization–transnational and multinational corporations, worldwide online commodity and derivative trading, Foreign Direct Investment, etc–but the fact that these globalizing processes have cultural ramifications seems to go unnoticed! My project involves looking at cultural practices, in this case theatre, in order to seem how these forces play out as artists make choices about how to represent themselves onstage (and consequentially off). Without getting too much into to everything, I’m attempting to see how the dynamic between cultural globalization and the current socio-cultural reorganizations taking place in the Middle East and North Africa right now. 

Armed with this (perhaps a bit too theoretical) framework, I’m going to take this year as it comes and see if I can get into a bit a of theatre here and figure out some stuff about the world around us. A bit daunting, but here it goes!