Item #31892 Tora Bora / Black Dust. An Opera in Three Acts.
Tora Bora / Black Dust. An Opera in Three Acts.
Tora Bora / Black Dust. An Opera in Three Acts.
Tora Bora / Black Dust. An Opera in Three Acts.
Tora Bora / Black Dust. An Opera in Three Acts.
(Afghanistan)

Tora Bora / Black Dust. An Opera in Three Acts.

Hazelwood, Art (illus.)

(San Francisco: Art Hazelwood, 2011). One of twenty copies. Screenprinted boards with cloth joints which open to create a theatrical stage that measures 28 inches in length, 12 inches in height, and 9 3/4 inches deep. Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher designed the stage, and multi-disciplinary artist, Concord, Mass. native, and self-professed "instigator" Art Hazelwood executed the artwork. The backdrop is slotted and contains six original etchings that can be switched out for the relevant scene each depicts. The proscenium contains three grooves into which several of the seven cutout screenprinted figures can be inserted. Accompanied by a letterpress libretto consisting of 24 pages and a DVD recording.

Hazelwood calls this "a reverse engineered opera," in which the whole is constructed from etchings of a few scenes and a handful of characters, seven of which—the young lovers, Sitara and Jaweed, along with a Soviet General, a CIA Station Chief, a US soldier, a mujahedeen fighter, and a burqa-clad woman—can be employed to act out the libretto. The story focuses on the young lovers, whose work harvesting poppies for opium is interrupted by the Soviet invasion of the late 1970s. This development sends Jaweed off to fight with the mujahedeen, while Sitara studies medicine under the Soviets and becomes a doctor. Meanwhile, the CIA begins funneling money and weapons to the fighters, helping construct the fortifications at Tora Bora: "a labyrinth impenetrable" which "the Soviets pummeled ... for ten years with everything they had, / but to no avail." Jaweed, whose anger at the Soviets has estranged him from Sitara, is invited by the village doctor to clandestinely listen in on a clinic for women, where he learns about the perilous state for women under the rule of the Taliban, who have taken over in the wake of the Soviet departure. Physically shaken by the litany of horrors he overhears, Jaweed joins the Northern Alliance and reconciles with Sitara, whom he saves from an errant U.S. airstrike that kills a number of Afghans attending the wedding to which Sitara had been invited. The story closes with the suggestion of a continuation of this cycle.

A remarkable compression of the recent history of this region, as well as an ambitious piece of storytelling design. Item #31892

Price: $4,000.00