The Salath

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The Salath, 2003, video, PAL, 8:08 min, color, sound

Salath is actually the principal prayer of the Muslim world. It praises not only the glory of Allah, but also the absolute faith of believers and their allegiance to religious rules. Heard in the video is the voice of an old man of Iranian origin, the father of the one praying, reciting the prayer to his daughter. In the picture frame, one sees the young woman wearing the tschador kneeling on the prayer rug. She makes a great effort to repeat the Arabic words so foreign to her, and tries to assume the correct position with her body. Occasionally she interrupts the prayer and asks her father, in German now, to speak slower – or to repeat the words she finds hardest to remember. The woman’s actions oscillate between her allegiance to religious rules through sheer imitation and her rebelling against preordained rules of conduct, and the somewhat respectful tone used with her father belies her stifled laughter over the absurdity of the situation.

Performance: Narges Rashidi Berlin based international Actress
Written and Directed by Shahram Entekhabi