The project "New EastEnders" is referring to the British soap opera "EastEnders", which is broadcast on BBC1 since 1985 and is geographically set in a fictional borough of London.
Using the common construction elements of a TV soap opera, the "New Eastenders" are consisting of multiple promotional elements and their possible and multi-referential preconditions in preparation to launch a series, whose context, protagonists and narration are proposing a geographical shift, moving the narration into a virtual future 'Near East, Far East, Middle East and it's End'.
In 2017 Anahita Razmi presented the lecture performance “New EastEnders – The PREQUEL” at Alserkal Avenue.
On the occasion of her exhibition “Take Me to Your Leader“, the new elements “New EastEnders – THE TRAILER“ , “New EastEnders – THE SPOILERS“ , “New EastEnders – THE SCRIPTS“ are shown, considering the implications of scripting fictional narratives vs political narratives by constructing identities and stereotypes of failing 'lead stories' and 'lead characters'.
The single elements all create a self-generating story of their own - while explicitly using existing media strategies and narratives in their loops, rearrangements and exaggerations.
Anahita Razmi has developed six different lead characters, who are all played by the artist herself, condensing different 'eastern' identities into stereotypical images, through title, gender, dress, profession and cultural references.
“New EastEnders – THE TRAILER“ is introducing these lead characters and letting them transverse through different versions of themselves. Clichés are tested out, exaggerated, accelerated, availing themselves of their basic construction schemes.
In “New EastEnders – THE SPOILERS“ the same protagonists go through a series of revealing, crucial anti-climaxes that follow one another repeatedly, pre-empting narrative motifs of suspense and drama.
“New EastEnders – THE SCRIPTS“, a LED ticker display scripting one desperate 'kismet' after another, is referring to the soap opera's impossibility to ever end, doomed to 'cliffhang' forever and ever and ever and ever.
As in previous works, Razmi through these elements opens up a reflection on the ambiguous roles of the 'East' in contemporary popular culture by examining some of its cultural inscriptions and representations in a 'Western', globalized present.