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The Arena

Like a psychosomatic fantasy, the furious clamour of the crowd echoes in her mind. The anguished thrill of the stage is forever part of her, a parasitic fusion with her DNA. Just as a past life haunting her like an inescapable loop, an enclosed Arena.

It always starts with fear. A primordial terror tightening her guts in an impossible knot. There she stands, paralysed, motionless, the heavy charge of a sacred duty weighing her down. A dark hole is sucking her, like a mighty gravitational force blocking her every intention.

Suddenly, the light is gone, and the darkness rules for the eternity of a second. The fragile cosmic balance has been shattered and it always feels like an ending, as if there was no escaping the black hole.

It always starts with fear.

And yet, every single time a sour redemption takes her out of the dark, back into the light: a melancholic unchosen stardom.
The cycle continues, a tale old as time itself. As the last bit of her consciousness is about to vanish in the dark, a surge of power fills her from within. Sunrays blast, illuminating her, bathing her perimeter only to burn her alive. There she is, the lighthouse of the abyss. Sometimes she wonders, wouldn’t it be preferable to disappear in the void? Praying for the light never to come back?

The Arena welcomes her. The enslaved phoenix rises back from the ashes, and it must fight. Her voice pierces the shadows, her weapon of choice. The expert gladiator is back in the never escaped prison of the Arena. There she must fight, fight to exist. The combat must go on, the crowd’s carnal desire must be pleased. Their salivating howls reverb on the walls, soundwaves shattering her bones, undressing her soul. Their screams doping her mind, the fighting instincts take over. Her fluid reality is preyed on, cast away in the shadows she is now forced into the light, subject to the mighty tidal waves of their attention. The unwanted power burns her eyes, she hurls demented incantations, lost to the insanity of the Arena.

FIGHT, PIERCE, RETREAT, NEVER, SURRENDER

She knows every move, learned the choreography by force of habit. The carnivorous crowd challenges her to the battle royale.

HUNT, SHOOT, TRAP, CHOKE, GAG.

The last moans of the satisfied crowd eventually fill the air, announcing the curtain drop. Her heartbeat still runs 200 bpm, her breathing almost chokes her.

Feverishly looking around, she scouts the area to avoid any final ambush, but her last opponent has already vanished within the ground, just another illusion.

Quietly, she leaves the Arena through the main door. She won, and yet feels defeated, starring in her own bitter pantomime.

Concept: SasaHara
Drag: SasaHara
Text: SasaHara
Photography: Kevin de Wit alias Vanity Love
Collage: Luca Barbieri

The story of an unlived past life: the oneiric presence of Remuza & Romulusa. An alternative reality in a vast ocean of infinite possibilities. Do myths exist? What happens to the myths that haven’t been written down, and yet keep echoing? I sometimes wonder about the threshold between story and history. Does it look a certain way? It must smell like something, or maybe a taste of deception. What has been experienced has existed. What has been once dreamed of exists forever, a fluttering potential cosmos. Remuza & their sibling Romulusa are eternal beings, unfolding their inexistence to the eyes of the ones who can see.

Two small flickering silhouettes floating through the Tiber. The river divinity Tibernus understood the fluid composure of Rhea Silvia’s twins. Just as if they were part of its body of water. Fleeing the rape culture that spawned them, they were about to start the rejuvenation of their specie. Undefined drops going down the current. Cast away from the realm of kings, Remuza & Romulusa were beginning the journey of their inner truth. Within the fluid element they were saved, through the water they escaped, in the unstable matter they exist.
Found by the Lupa, they were raised in the forest. Gnarling, crawling, hunting, playing, they nurtured their wildness. From the undomesticated life emerged a truth; their being remained untouched. Suckled by the Lupa they calmed their thirst, fed by the Picus they grew.
Time flew undisturbed, while history was written at the hand of men, the life of the wild was touching upon eternity. In the heart of the forest the borders blurred. The raw symbiosis of the interspecies reality nurtured them. Their eyes were closed. The Lupa watched over them. Their breath flowing steadily, they were dreaming of undefined spaces.

Their first encounter with their biological kind was a tale to remember. Two shepherds with their dog stumbled onto them and their wolf mother, the Lupa. Four bipeds, and two quadrupeds. An almost symmetrical composition, and yet diametrically opposed. The shepherds tried to kill the Lupa, the very own Mother of Remuza & Romulusa. Their unleashed domesticated dog, forced to attack, was barking at them, the saliva dripping of its bare fangs. If the two siblings already witnessed the violence of the hunt, part of the natural cycle of the wildlife, this seemingly unreasonable attack was beyond comprehension. They could not understand the underlying reasons opposing the humans and their dog to the wolves, the quarrel, old as time, opposing the wild to the domestic. For Remuza & Romulusa, the shepherds’ sight reminded them of their early years, and of the tragedy that forced them into exile. The dog was now running towards them at high speed, the disformed howls coming out of its maw only matched by the violent screams of the shepherds, threatening them from the back with their manufactured javelins. Jumping in front of their mother, the siblings desperately screamed with one voice the name of the deity Tibernus, instinctively remembering how they were once saved by the water. Echoing from the depth of the nearby river, an overwhelming sound of crashing waves blast, and the fangs and claws of the dogs, alongside the shepherds’ javelins, turned into water. Astonished by the display of elemental power the twins had just performed, the shepherds fell to their knees, begging for mercy.

“Rise and quit weeping. We have not attacked you, we embrace the potentiality of our coexistence, and so will you from now on. Only the futurity matters, the past is the origin, and the present is only a motion towards.” said the twins.

The water took form again, and the fangs and claws of the dog reappeared, so did the javelins. The shepherds did not try another attack. Mesmerized by the fluid presence of the twins, they went back to their herd downhill, and lived to tell the tale of the water deities Remuza & Romulusa, children of the Lupa.

Running, flowing, appearing, and disappearing, the streets of the city seemed like the ever-expanding roots of an old oak. If one would blink, the alleyways could have changed directions. Open spaces became narrow streets in a flash. The inhabitants of Rome seemed undisturbed by such an unstable environment. They would walk, stop, dance, laugh, fuck, fuck again, sleep, run and leave, in an eternal organic cabaret. Spaces had no purpose because all was constantly moving, changing, flowing. Some days the streets would appear vertically, or curve around to become loopy bridges. In the cracks of Rome would bloom temporary utopias, orgiastic ephemeral moments intensely burning before disappearing into ashes.

Tongue licking tongue licking cock penetrating ass, the hands always hold on to something, dancing in the dark and in the light; the flesh melts as the holes get filled, no orifice left open by the ever-sliding cocks fingers wetting pussies licked by mouth to mouth to ass to cock; the massed bodies would become fluttering flesh monsters casting their gorgeous shadows on the moving walls of Rome.
Since the now legendary event of the twins and the shepherds, decades have passed. Remuza and Romulusa grew into adulthood. Their bodies developed in different shapes, Remuza became a strong solar creature while Romulusa became a fascinating long and thin being of the dark. Their mutual completion was perfect. Since the now legendary event of the twins and the shepherds, the twins created the un-bordered city of Rome. An organic space in perpetual creation/de-creation where hundreds of species would thrive together. Cultures would born and die and rebirth.

Its un-bordered and undefined nature was glitching the map, all worldly scholars struggling to archive its existence in any way. The European history that followed this oneiric timeline was one marked by fluidity. No idea was resisting the relentless waves of change, all shapes were welcomed in the organic matrix, only to then disappear. If imperialism had been dreamed of by some, the stillness it required could never exist within the tidal reality.

Echoing from the depth of a nearby river, an overwhelming sound of crashing waves blasts. Reverbing in a whisper, the names of Remuza and Romulusa repeat, endlessly, unfolding their inexistence to the ears of the one who hears.

They would walk, stop, dance, laugh, fuck, fuck again, sleep, run and leave, in an eternal organic cabaret.

Concept: SasaHara
Text: SasaHara
Drag: SasaHara
Models: SasaHara, Barros
Photography: Harmen Meinsma
Styling: Yvana Muradin, SasaHara
Make-up: Minou Meijers, SasaHara
Hair: Ed Tijsen, SasaHara
Collage: Luca Barbieri