the survival of a place we once called home cannot preserve within it the relationships that once made this a place to begin with. despite the emotional attachments formed, the preservation of physical remains cannot safeguard the values, ideals and … Continue reading
11 Jan 2019
A meeting at the intersection of death and rebirth.
She becomes neither male nor female.
She is pure vengeance,
raging against time
defying gods in a society
where women are objects to be won.
A haunting familiar tune.
At ang iyong mata’y biglang lumuha ng di mo pinapansin
(Before you realise it, tears are running down your face)
Nagsisisi at sa isip mo’y. Nalaman mong ika’y nagkamali
(And you realise you were wrong. And you repent.)
Hardly soothing but I remember
being lulled to sleep by these words.
S/he moves like a scorpion about to sting.
There is tenderness in this revenge.
S/he moves to embrace him,
He will never fully appreciate the suffering
he has wrought on this life.
S/he touches his face as he dies.
The darkness engulfs him.
The earth cracks beneath their feet.
One kneels. One stands.
One falls, surrounded by arrows.
As this vengeance, hate and suffering falls away,
another cycle of suffering begins.
Only faultlines remain.
Glowing in the darkness.
Until the Lions – http://www.akramkhancompany.net/productions/until-the-lions/
Quite possibly the biggest waves that I’ve seen in Desaru. I am chided for feeling underwhelmed last weekend… Waves pounding above me. I dive forward. We get tougher with each challenge we meet. I am displaced, but for a moment, … Continue reading
A never-ending, unrelenting staircase.
Crawling along the side of Table Mountain.
Imposing stacked, dark grey walls
as if they were made by sky giants
After 2 hours
the steps become a path.
You’re walking in the clouds.
It is as they say:
the horizon vanishes
where the sea meets the sky.
Table Mountain, Cape Town.
It’s been a rough summer.
But I’ve found true friends in this storm of broken glass.
One year older, one year wiser
or so they say.
Learning to find balance again.
Perhaps I am compelled to write about the areas I find most lacking in myself.
It’s sunny on 26 September after a week of grey skies.
How to find compassion for those who hurt the people I care about?
How to create places of compassion in a hostile world
where retaliating with violence seems almost instinctual?
One year older but I still have a lot to learn.
Sunlight on my face and above
a pale blue sky of dragons chasing clouds.
08.08.18 My yehyeh (grandfather) used to own an electrical shop filled with wonders. He passed away three years ago, but I imagine his green van is still rumbling along, up there, somewhere. I write so that I won’t forget, but … Continue reading
11 June 2018
Last day of ‘class’. We were asked to write a feminist manifesto but there is something about a manifesto that just doesn’t sit well with many of us. I remember asking the young people I work with, in February 2017, about what they thought about the Manifesto for the Arts (2013) and whether this still resonated with them. Although there were many broad points of agreement, several youths felt that the Manifesto could be framed in a way that sounded less absolute. One said:
Young artists need spaces to create, experiment, fail, succeed. I’d make the manifesto not so clichéd. Art isn’t a bed of roses and it isn’t going to solve world issues. But it can connect, let people have an experience like no other…Art in Singapore is already very rigid…Instead of framing [The Manifesto] into rules…unframing it…would make it more open and free. (VN 2017)
I agree. So this is a non-manifesto for practice research that Cathy Sloan and I put together:
We commit to:
Challenging what counts
as ‘We the People’ and Who.
Recognising the messiness of bodies
Sticky with Affect
(not just logical rhetoric).
(so this is not a manifesto but the beginning of conversations).
[Borrowing from Judith Butler]
For ‘it is true that there are no demands that you can submit to arbitration here…If hope is an impossible demand then we demand the impossible’ (Butler 2011).
I will miss the Monday Research sessions at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (Central). To all the PhD candidates who’ve generously taken the time to listen to my research anxieties, share their research insights with me and throw thorny and challenging counterarguments my way: thank you for these conversations and for being a crucial part of my learning at Central. You have taught me so much about what it means to create a supportive learning environment, one where I’m constantly challenged to be the best version of myself and exceed the limits of self-doubt to do what I thought was impossible.
What is it about an idea that withstands the noise of time? Julian Barnes posits that it is ‘only that music which is inside ourselves – the music of our being – which…over the decades, if it is strong and … Continue reading
08 March 2018
Disavow paternalistic expectations
Writing ourselves through place
Rewriting narratives of place as women
Unraveling constructs of self
Until we understand these differences
as ways of living together.
8 paper cranes
Torn away from the gender expectations of glossy magazines.
8 wishes for hope and healing
Left on the tube, at tube stations and around Parsons Green*, London.
Craggy rocks submerged in the shipwrecked water
‘The people we were aren’t always the people we become’ (VanDerWerff 2017)
That may be disappointing,
but it also means we’re not bound by our past.
Living on with that knowledge is both powerful
The hermit crab rolls another grey ball of sand out from its hole
onto the shore. And I know that when I return, next year,
it will still be there,
That which was built yesterday will be washed away
I must learn to begin, again.
I don’t know where it will lead, but
not knowing is a part of attending to
A small bird skips across the muddy sand as
jazz lullabies play from the radio of a car.