Life is a Dream
a reimagining of pedro calderon's play set during the time of al-andalus
Pedro Calderon wrote Life is a Dream during the Spanish "golden age" and while researching the background to this era I came across the Alhambra Decree, a subject I briefly studied in school when living in the Middle East. The Alhambra Decree is a ruling that banished all Muslims and Jews from Spain towards the end of the fifteenth century when the Christians took over and brought in the Spanish "Golden Age". Before this expulsion, Islamic rulers (Berbers and Arabs) ruled a large part of the Iberian Peninsula, and their style of architecture is still seen today, mainly in southern Spain, in modern-day Andalucía. That is because of Al Andalus: the territory in the Iberian Peninsula culturally and religiously linked with Islam in the middle ages. My personal connection with Arabian culture, as well as my general interest in Islamic textiles, led me to set the play in a fictional Arabia. I considered initially setting it during the period of the Nasrid kingdom, but felt if I did not specify a time this old story would relate to a modern audience. Still, my designs will take inspiration from Al Andalus and its influences, mainly traditional Moroccan clothing.