Last night I had the pleasure of travelling on what can best be called “performance art”. In reality, picture a large shipping truck, and instead of cargo in the container, you have 3 rows of theater seating. Instead of a cold container metallic wall, there are white screens that play a documentary, and every now and then they ascend to display the floor to ceiling glass windows that makes Amman a stage for a scene or two.
Cargo Sofia is essentially a truck ride around Amman, with the drivers as the narrators of a story that takes you from Sofia, Bulgaria to Amman, Jordan. Along the way, a documentary plays on the screens, reciting the history of Willi Benz, one of Bulgaria’s largest shipping companies, and one that has an interesting history spanning the past few decades (up until this very month in fact), that includes monopolization in an era of communism as well as greed and bribes ranging in the millions.
Every now and then the screen will connect the audience with the live feed of the truck drivers who tell their own tales of what it’s like being on the road, travelling all over the continents, bribing custom officials with cigarettes, waiting hours and even days in a queue, missing their families and missing Bulgaria. As the screens lift every so often, Amman becomes to stage, where the audience is taken on a journey of what its like for truckers to drop off shipments, sleep in small cabins, or sell their goods in wholesale markets. Along the way, Jordanian military officers play miniature rolls in the unfolding play.
Cargo Sofia is a fascinating experience where a truck becomes a place of storytelling, and oral history is recited. Unfortunately, we don’t get much performance art in Jordan where the audience can actually be a part of the show in a manner of speaking, so this is quite the unique experience. It lasts for about 90 minutes and the seats are (understandably) a bit uncomfortable but bearable. The storytelling comes at the hands of a translator although there are a few nights (7th and 10th) where its for English-speaking audiences.
The truck takes off from the Crown Hotel in Imgablayn, by the radio and TV stations, but there are shuttle buses that go to the site from in front of the Orthodox Club in Abdoun. It’s happening every night from 7-9pm, until November 11th.
To book a seat call: 079-644-4460
p.s. given the nature of the show, flash photography throughout, is prohibited.