What if the role of Europe and of the Ottoman Empire had been switched? What if the Ottoman Empire had conquered and divided Europe?
What If? deals with an alternative history timeline of colonialism in the Middle East. Most of the countries in that area today were formed by British and French agreements. The Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916 divided the Middle East into the countries we know now.
Artist Manaf Halbouni is turning this around, fictionalising a world where the Ottoman Empire and United States of Arabia split Europe instead.
Manaf is creating a theatrical play depicting a secret meeting between representatives, discussing the splitting of Europe. Manaf wants to explore our history, thinking about how colonialism provoked wars, conflicts and the consequent migrations to Europe. Working with recently resettled Syrian new Scots from Inverurie, and local Huntly folk, Manaf invites the community to come and watch the play, and also film it on their own digital devices, contributing to a film of the play from multiple perspectives.