Rémi Sarmini

Theatre director, actor, educator

ResidencyAR-Tunis at Art Veda, Tunisia

Rémi Sarmini is a Syrian theatre director, actor, educator and founder of the theatre collective Tajroubeh Troupe.

Sarmini graduated from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art in Damascus in 2014. In the following years, he continued to work as the director of Tajroubeh Troupe in Syria, producing plays despite the extreme difficulties of working in a war zone.

In 2016, Sarmini left Syria to escape the war and find a safe and peaceful place to live and work. AR has accompanied him along his remarkable and arduous journey. Following a period in Beirut, Lebanon, Sarmini volunteered as an educator leading workshops with children on theatre as well as working as an assistant director on the play “Lighters and Darkness” at the Sharjah Desert Festival in the United Arab Emirates. Following this, he spent several months in Khartoum, Sudan. Currently, Sarmini is based in Tunis, where he is working with AR-Network member Art Veda and the non-profit artistic organisation and multi-disciplinary theatre space EL Teatro.

Sarmini wrote and directed the play “First Class الدرجة الأولى”, which premiered in 2019 in Tunisia and is based on his own experiences. It circles around three people waiting at an airport to travel to a safe country and explores social and global topics, such as boundaries and discrimination and the emotional state of waiting. Of his artistic practice, Sarmini says “theatre empowers and allows me to freely express myself and to deliver my experience in this world”.

While in residence at AR-Tunis in 2020, Sarmini was cast in ‘The Man Who Sold His Skin’, a new film by acclaimed Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania that has been nominated for a 2021 Academy Award for ‘Best Foreign Feature Film’. The film follows the story of Sam Ali, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon who has his back ‘bought’ and tattooed with a Schengen Visa by a controversial Belgian artist. Inspired by a true story, it has been praised for its charm and satirical portrayal of the art world. He can further be seen in the Peter Webber-directed Arabic-language series ‘Kingdoms of Fire’, a dramatisation of the reign of the Ottoman Empire’s Selim the 1st and the Mamluk Sultanate’s Tuman Bay the 2nd.

Rémi Sarmini is an Artists at Risk(AR)-ENSH Resident, hosted in cooperation with Art Veda at AR-Tunis. The AR-Network is curated by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) and is coordinated by the AR-Secretariat, co-funded by Kone Foundation. AR-The European Network of Safe Havens (AR-ENSH) is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

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