I have lots of hobbies and interests and love talking about silly and superficial things, like things I cook, clothes I buy or bags I make. However I am a physical theatre performer and I am constantly looking for ideas, observing and listening to people and their views on things that are important to us all - how do we treat a fellow human being? I know this is a little broad, but concepts like sexuality, gender, immigration, feminism might give you a clue into my work.
I am currently doing research on a piece about immigration, refugees and asylum seekers, mainly in the UK, although, we'll see where the research takes me as it might spread to the rest of the world. For now, I am keeping it open in all respects; it might be a performer's piece, it might be an installation piece, it might concern a particular type of immigration, anything goes. This is actually an exciting part of of the process when I can dream as big as I want to and allow any idea to be a part of the creative process.
So, here is something that has got me thinking and that has touched me very much today. It is an installation piece in the South Bank, London.
The original 1951 Lion and Unicorn Pavilion at the South Bank Exhibition aimed to describe the British character and way of life as well as pointing out their contradictions. The lion of the title represented bravery and courage while the unicorn represented imagination and independence. At the heart of the installation was a sculpture of a flight of ceramic birds, symbolising migration and freedom of speech.
In today's installation piece artist Gita Gschwendtner worked with 50 young refugees, whose poems - written and spoken - reinterpret the original themes of strength and imagination. A flock of white birds – or aeroplanes? – fly down the outdoor corridor linking Waterloo Station with Hungerford Bridge and comes to rest next to Royal Festival Hall.
Here are some of the pictures I took today:
The installation is not silent. As it is by the river, it is always windy, and the papers, poems and the wind make strange and beautiful music together. Harsh sounds are mixed with the voices of the young refugees reciting their poems. Some are in English, some in their own mother tongues, some are singing songs (click to enlarge the picture and see the poems properly):
If you have a minute, it would be wonderful if you could write what you think when you hear a word immigrant. You don't need to write more than a word if you don't feel like it. Or it might be a picture, a sound, an object? Anything you have is more than welcome. I promise I will not use it in the final piece; it will only inform my research and creative process.
However, if you rather abstain from commenting on the subject, that is OK too.
Also, if you are in London or passing through, the exhibit will be on till 4th September 2011. I strongly recommend it.
Sorry for the long post, but I have so many ideas going through my head at the moment and I just can't seem to edit well.
I think I will finish with questions by the wonderful Judith Butler:
See you all soon and thank you for stopping by.