Dunsmure Road is an ultra-Orthodox, close-knit Jews neighborhood in North-East London, a conservative community that treats outsiders ‘guardedly’. (Brown, 2010).

Flocks of high-crowned black hats, frock-coats, ringlets, women, men, with their many children hurry from synagogue; they seem too busy to notice me; they do not receive outsiders sympathetically. I try; I remain a stranger; my attempts to interact fail thirty-two times. I become transfixed and proceed silently.

My failed attempts build empathy through reminding, on an individual scale, of our shared alienation and insularism. 

 

Performance, 3 hours, 2010; location: Dunsmure Road, London, UK

Images courtesy of Pejman Saegheh