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Ghalia Benali’s concept for the absence of path is ruled by the “Wheel of Fortune” card in Tarot.

The Wheel of Fortune is highly symbolic. Signifying stability amidst movement and change. Representing wisdom, life force descending into the material world, intelligence, life’s riddles, formative power, radiant energy, opportunity, growth, success, and expansion; empowering the qualities of the 1.

Referring to the events in the past that have blazed the path on which you now walk, the card represents being in touch with your destiny, freedom and adapting to change and moving up in the world with a positive change to get what you want. The forces of change represented by this card have at their core the ability to reveal your purpose in life, it promises unexpected outcomes and turn of events with a deep feeling of connection to people and places while if reversed there will be a threat of misfortune.

Benali’s costume represents the symbolic wheel of fortune that rules the path, starting with her barefoot representing strong connection to places and being grounded on the path, the red flamenco shoe on the other foot serves as the voice of uncontrolled passionate emotions that emit from the soul guiding the path in the desired direction. The chess-like pants represent the prewritten destiny where every move towards the white is emphasized by another move of the black symbolizing the conditioning we tend to do and the past experiences that we purify during our paths.

The wide wired skirt is the wheel of fortune and the face-less dolls hanging on it are the souls that their paths intertwine with ours, each holds its special powers varying from evil, angelic, wise, misleading, destructive and energetic where combined they act as the formative powers that one meets during their path. They are not given a face, as faces are personally being interpreted reflecting what you have within you that is manifested in your outer world.

The sartorial elegance of sleazy lace is to state the fact that the path is never easy, it represents the chastity and debauchery the path could hold. Embraced by the golden traditional Tunisian vest locked at the heart, affirms the strong attachment with the roots and the authenticity of the Tunisian culture and traditions that formed Benali’s character that is always present in all her artwork hence her path and also represents the attachment to the old experiences and how they influence our being.

The costume is topped with gold crown with mirrors, the mirrors reflect the light that lightens the path and the crown represents the wisdom, honor and glory reached when all other factors combine.

The Wheel of Fortune costume is a piece of art made by Ghalia Benali that ornaments her performance and stand alone as a description to the path and all what it can hold.


  • Crystal tears and feathered dress
  • Dead lover sought by a princess
  • Desperately holding a mirror
  • Telling forgotten un fairytales…
  • Faces less
  • Sketching
  • Figureless faces
  • Hanging on
  • Wheel of fortune
  • Barely drawing
  • Absent paths
  • Barefoot walking
  • On and on…
  • Oceans of tears
  • Souls spin restlessly
  • Waving precious laces
  • On a chess game,
  • Unknown hands stitched,
  • In a book of destiny
  • Witnessing in a mirror,
  • Shading herself from moon to moon
  • Believing she meets her soulmate soon


  • “Each holds its destiny… In a book written by missing hands”




“The wheel of fortune” visited many countries exhibiting in the Biennale of Venice.. crossed the path of many people from all over the world, collected new stories and smiles.. a magic stay in this magic land of water.#TunisianPavilion #absenceofpaths #theabsenceofpaths #labiennale #الأرواح_التي_لا_ينقطع_وصلها


“The wheel of fortune”-Detail /the absence of paths” this is the costume I would be wearing for my performance at the Biennale of Venice/ the Tunisian Pavilion #venicebiennale2017 #linalazaar #stitch #embroidery #dolls #lace #costume #tunisia #chessgame #tradition #feather #gold #fairytale #unfairytales #theabsenceofpaths #thewalkingdead #arabicpoetry #poetry #performingarts #بهجة_من_قلب_الحزن #الغجرية_بنت_الريح #الأرواح_التي_لا_ينقطع_وصلها



ض.غ ٤٩

أَمشِي عَلَى أَرضٍ مِن مَاء
زُرِعَت أَلغَاما
وَأنَا أَعِّدُ نُجُوما
تَاهَت فِي وَجهِ سَمَاء
وَلازِلتُ أَمشِي
وَأنَا أَعِّدُ نُجُوما تَاهَت فِي وَجهِ سَمَاء

W.B 49
I walk on land of water
Planted with mines
While counting lost stars in the face of sky
And I am still walking


In no man’s land…
A walking king… stalking
a stolen king…dom
seeking in deep darkness
in sacred land’s memory
roots and trees
seeking in unreachable skies
in forgotten memories
silver fish and innocent flowers…
Sick… still… seeking
some light in twilights


WB 49
(West Bank 1968-2017)
Lyrics, composition and Vocals by Ghalia Benali
Music by Fred Meert (impénétrables trio)
(West Bank 1968) is translated to english by Nehal Hany
Images and Video by Ghalia Benali
Special thanks to Daoud Ibrahim

A Production of
© 2017

This song is the result of a beautiful unexpected meeting at the Red Cross by a Tunisian singer and a Palestinian/Syrian poet.
Both, for different reasons had to leave their countries and meet…
in Brussels.

“بهجة من قلب الحزن”

العُذرُ مِنكِ وَهَل يَستَغفِرُ القَدَرُ
وَأَنتِ البَدرُ إِن يَلقَاكِ يَعتَذِرُ
دَارِي العُيُونَ وَحَقِّ هَوَاكِ لَو عَلِمَت
عَينَايَ سِحرِكِ وَالسَّمَاءَ لأَمطَرُوا
قَد تُهتُ فِيكِي يَا إبنَةَ النَّجمِ المُنَى
يَكفِي الدُنَا مِنكِ النُّجُومَ تَبَعثَرُوا
سَمراءُ رُدِّي أَسهُماً صَوَّبتِهَا
لَم يَبقَ فِي الأَضلاَعِ إلاَّ الأَبهَرُ
سَمرَاءُ قَلبِي هَامَ فِيكِي صَبَابَةً
وَالرِّمشُ صَاحَ وَالعُيونُ تَسحَرُ
سَمراءُ إِنِّي وَالرِّياحُ تَلُومُنِي
عَبَثاً تَحُومُ فِي عُيونِي وَتَسكَرُ



And how is a destiny forgiven?
At your meeting, the full moon would disappear.
Sail your eyes, I swear by my love
What of your charm, my eyes and the sky would rain …
I lose myself in you, daughter of the coveted star
At your advent, the stars have gone astray
O “Samra”, suspend your sharp arrows,
In my chest, only the aorta has not yielded.
O “Samra”, in you my heart enamored drowned.
With your crying lashes and with your eyes, marveled.
O “Samra”, I open my chest to the furies of wind dismantled
Who in vain Rids and gets drunk in my eyes.



Et comment se pardonne une destinée?
A ta rencontre, la pleine lune s’éclipserait.
Voile-toi les yeux, je jure par mon amour
Que de ton charme, mes yeux et le ciel pleuvraient…
Je me perds en toi, fille de l’étoile convoitée
A ton avènement, les étoiles se sont égarées
O “Samra”, suspends tes flèches aiguisées,
En mon sein, seule l’aorte n’a pas cédé.
O “Samra”, en toi mon cœur épris s’est noyé.
De tes cils en pleurs et de tes yeux, émerveillé.
O “Samra” , j’ouvre mon sein aux furies du vent démonté
Qui en vain Rôde et s’enivre dans mes yeux


Lyrics written by Ossama Saadaoui
كلمات أسامه سعداوي
Music composed by Ghalia Benali
ألحان غالية بنعلي
Arrangements by Maak
التوزيع / فريق ماك
Translated to English by Nehal Hany
الترجمة للإنجليزية / نهال هاني
Translated to French by Robert Bolbol
الترجمة للفرنسية / روبير بلبل
Images and video by Ghalia Benali
تصوير وتصميم فيديو / غالية بنعلي

Thanks to Borhan du Welz for his brilliant ideas
Special Thanks to Ahmed Saeed, to the Red Cross Belgium
شكر خاص لأحمد سعيد والصليب الآحمر ببلجيكا و برهان دوويلز






A Production of
© 2017

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