• Installation
  • Sold Out

Dear Laila

Showing on Jan 20-Feb 3

Playing at Boca del Lupo's Studio: The Fishbowl on Granville Island

A woman smiling and curiously sniffing a jar full of herbs. She appears to be looking at an ornate box containing letters, a stack of cards, a small diorama of a building, a tabletop cactus, and a tiny jar.

Basel Zaraa (Palestine/UK)

“Dear Laila, you are five now and have started to ask me where I grew up, and why we can’t go there. This is me trying to give you an answer.”

The seeds of this award-winning immersive experience were planted when artist Basel Zaraa’s five-year-old daughter, Laila, began to ask him about his childhood home, Al Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. Unable to take her there, Zaraa decided he would bring the place to her. 

Dear Laila shares the Palestinian experience of displacement and resistance through the story of one family, exposing how war and exile infiltrate the everyday and the domestic. In this intimate, interactive installation for one, we explore a model of the home Zaraa grew up in. Open drawers. Leaf through photo albums. Look at the pictures on the wall. Be silent and reflect on the stories of this family, hidden in plain sight.

Dear Laila speaks to joy, family and the beauty of community.

This production is presented in partnership with Boca del Lupo and their Micro Performance Series.

Artist Basel Zaraa was interviewed on the PuSh Play podcast by Gabrielle Martin, Director of Programming. Listen to the podcast episode here.

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Artist Bio

Basel Zaraa (Palestine/UK)

Basel Zaraa is a UK-based Palestinian artist whose work uses the senses to bring audiences closer to experiences of exile and the search for identity. His current project, Dear Laila, is an interactive installation that recreates his destroyed family home in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. His previous work includes ‘As Far As My Fingertips Take Me’, a collaboration with Tania El Khoury, which was awarded outstanding production at the Bessie Awards in 2019. His work has been shown at over 40 venues and festivals across five continents.


Boca del Lupo's Studio: The Fishbowl on Granville Island

1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver


  • January 20: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • January 21: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • January 23: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • January 24: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • January 25: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • January 26: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • January 27: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • January 30: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • January 31: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • February 1: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • February 2: 12:20-7:20, every 20min
  • February 3: 12:20-7:20, every 20min

Duration: 15 min, no intermission. Performances occur every 20 min.

No latecomers


Single tickets: $15
Buy Tickets

This show is not eligible for booking a PuSh Pass. See the PuSh Pass Terms & Conditions.


Icon signalling a relaxed performance (casual or low sensory)

Extra Live (Always Relaxed)

Icon signalling a low vision friendly performance

Low Vision Friendly with Introduction

Access the introduction for Patrons who are Blind or have Low Vision (Google Docs)

For Dear Laila’s Visual Story, please email access@pushfestival.ca.


By Basel Zaraa Translator and script editor Emily Churchill Zaraa Sound engineer Pete Churchill

Commissioned by Good Chance Theatre, with support from Arts Council England