“I’m not into politics / naively I used to say / not realising that everything is political or - a better way to put it - politicised.”
Intense and personal, “I’m Not Into Politics” by Mai Weisz navigates an uneasy terrain of geopolitics and interpersonal relations. Shot through with love and fear, the monologue contends with divisions and the quest to overcome them in a world increasingly invested in labels and categorisation. As individuals, can we swap seemingly intractable opposition for an alternative, more liminal space full of possibilities? Could London be a place that makes that possible?
Find out more about Mai here
Has this story made you think, smile, cry or even smirk? Please send us your responses. Over the coming weeks and months, our interactive website will gradually morph into a digital gallery featuring audience responses to thingsiamnot.com/responses.
You can also reach us via email firstname.lastname@example.org, on Instagram at @legalalienstheatre or on Twitter and Facebook at @LegalAliensITC
Written and performed by: Mai Weisz
Producing Artistic Director: Lara Parmiani
Concept: Emmanuela Lia
Director: Becka McFadden
Visual Art: Laura Rouzet
Website design: Daiva Dominyka
Social media: Catharina Conte
Original Music: Angelina Rud & Martin Bakero
I’m Not Into Politics
by Mai Weisz
3:25 am I can’t sleep so I write in bed imagining my life as a play in my head my girlfriend is sleeping next to me I hear voices thoughts are floating above my head all mixed with memories and recurring dreams
if I was really writing a play
I should probably write about a girl in the holocaust no?
a girl in the holocaust suffering from trauma
I should probably add something personal something relevant something about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as any good and caring Israeli artist would do but I don’t think I want it to be political ‘I’m not into politics’ naively I used to say not realising that everything is political or a better way to put it politicised the air that I breath is politicised
with global warming and cars pollution
my childhood memories are politicised with national propaganda and religious conflicts I am politicised the way I walk the way I talk the way I brush my teeth the way I greet the neighbour my whole life and I’m starting to hate it a couple of weeks ago I met a girl from Gaza you are probably thinking how the hell is that possible?
what? the fact that a girl from Israel met a girl from Gaza? or the fact that they spoke?
Well apparently in London everything is possible and she was sitting there behind a stall of the Palestinian Society dedicating her whole being to I quote ‘a political cause’ when I found out that she was from Gaza my blood pressure increased followed by short breaths and I could feel my heart-beat so strong that I thought it could have popped out and started bouncing independently please I would like to return this passport -
( strong Israeli accent)
//why are you returning it?
//did you find a better price available? Where?
//not functioning properly?
//efficiency or features are not adequate?
//missed the estimated delivery date?
//are there any missing parts or accessories?
//the wrong item was sent?
//arrived in addition to what was ordered?
//no longer needed?
//description not accurate?
//I’m sorry you cannot return it
I decided to introduce myself despite the hypertension in which I was in
I felt a strong pull to talk to her
I kind of mumbled at the beginning I didn’t really know how to start a conversation with her without being weird or, god forbid, oppressive
I told her my name and ‘ I’ve heard you are from Gaza’ do you think I could have avoided saying where I am from?
sooner or later
she would have found out anyway
so I just went straight to the point ‘I’m from Israel and I want to connect with you’ within a couple of seconds from a humble and friendly preface it was the encounter that turned rather ,god forbid, oppressive
the girl was demandingly asking about my political affinities ‘are you pro-Israel or pro-Palestine? anti-zionist against the apartheid or for the occupation?’ basically she wanted to know if I was on her side and me surprised and overwhelmed by her response
but trying to be as politically correct as possible and avoiding any conflicts or any labellings I just said the old phrase ‘oh I’m not into politics’ forgetting that that’s
on its own is a political statement clearly she didn’t like it and the rest is history
I can’t sleep she is in deep sleep facing this way we got together nearly a year ago same old classic story I fell in love during an Arabic class with an Italian girl that at first sight
I thought was Palestinian
an awful lot of sweat out of fear to say where I’m from was wasted -
//so you joined the LGBTQ+ community - no
I don't feel part of that community so I cannot give myself this label - //but you love a girl which means you are a Lesbian - no I always liked boys
I still like boys and a girl - //Ah so you are bisexual no
I like just one girl the rest are boys
I don't think it counts I am still straight loving one girl well it doesn't matter what gender she is
I love her as a person - //are you experimenting?
I'm not experimenting!
it's true love
why do you have
to label everything? Well anyway
in London everything is possible
In Arabic class we were always sitting next to each other an Israeli, an Italian and a German on the front row sounds like the beginning of a joke but this one is funnier because the Italian doesn’t really look Italian
and the German doesn’t look German
and the Israeli well you get the idea and we were the only students talking and when I say talking I mean
participating the teacher asks a question and we are the only one answering
dead-quiet like fish in saltwater like fish
in the dead-sea
there are no fish in the dead-sea yeah?
if there were they would be dead anyway
before I even imagined that
I’d fallen in-love with that non-looking
I was always making sure the three of us are sitting together because then it would have been boring imagine just me on the front row facing our Lebanese teacher discussing all the israelis kha Khummus Khamas Terror
or exchanging recipes for Labneh
// Labneh - a soft cheese made from drained yogurt, typical of Middle Eastern cuisine - by the end of that year
I’d have ended up having more recipes than words so as you would
expect from every
new madly in love couple we have these
arguments about human rights terrorism politics that often end up with door slammings and conversations hung up in the air one evening
we were sitting around the table having a romantic dinner with candles and wine right after we came back from a conference called
understanding Khamas -
// Khamas, rightly pronounced Hamas, but not to be confused with Hummus, is an acronym of Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-Islāmiyyah (Islamic Resistance Movement),is a Palestinian Islamic Political Militant Movement, defacto governing authority of the Gaza strip since 2007 and which is dedicated to the establishment of an independent Islamic state in historical Palestine. Errr..do you want some more rice?
I… I personally don’t
understand Hamas and
I actually feel quite tantalised by this
conference you know to me Hamas will always be
a terrorist organisation and -
You (sound of hand slamming on a table)
You don't tell me what I can or cannot say! (footsteps walking away, door slams shut)
4:45am I can’t… (panting stops) I grew up in fear
I was always told to be careful - fear is good for you no? keeps you safe - or keeps the people who manipulate you to stay in power. I do have faith in people but I can also trust nobody
I always wanted
to do something meaningful to make a difference and to be known
to matter to a lot of people to be an idol so I came here to London to idolondon where everyone meets where the impossible happens I went to drama school another military training just in the arts and now I’m out supposed to be ready maybe I ‘ve always been pretending it’s so overwhelming sometimes I just want the world to stop //Maia
//come back to yourself
//you lost a bit of direction
//you need some time on your own
//to see clearly what is around you
//love made you
//lose your way a little
//the mind is blocked with
//the pressure to know
//is it true that //you will be loved less
//if you decide not to know?
//or is it you that will love yourself less?
it’s dark I can’t…I can’t open
my eyes and my body
I can’t move
I can’t move my body -
//dissolves in relaxation
(Heavy rain starts)
//vast space and emptiness
//sense of freedom
//absence of thoughts
//and just for a moment
//the body is allowed to dissolve
//the mind has dissolved
//the sense of personality has dissolved
//into complete transparency
//merging with pure freedom
//with no borders
//of the mind
//they all dissolve
(Rain stops/Panting starts)
6:30 am I woke up before the alarm and my dreams made me feel a bit sick in the stomach and the thoughts are burning on top of my head I’m tired but I am happy that I woke up with sunrise right before she woke up the sky is so beautiful it’s turning peach pink and light blue like the color of the beach in Tel - Aviv at sunset with the sound of faraway car engines and the smell of cold wet cigarettes after a night
full of murderous dreams and unnatural happenings that I can’t remember exactly what they were