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.
You are 38. I am 5. Some memories remain vivid: The smell of lavender powder Mom cutting your moustache in the living room. You’re sitting on my plastic yellow chair holding a newspaper under your chin. Motorcycle rides around Toa … Continue reading
a moving-thinking along.
Listening to the silence and how it speaks.
Being there, when words are
a stuttering through
an imperfect language that only fumbles towards the possibilities
I’m trying to hold on to.
Sometimes one word shuts out all alternatives.
Before night was born
Sweltering sun burns shoulders
Five seconds to fall
Last sunrise this year
Melancholy monsoon toes
Robots learn to sigh
One second too late
Chaotic lines wrinkle tears
Pebble kissing sand
A cupboard full of curious shells each one a voice from a distant shore You put one to my ear and told me I would hear the sea. A gazillion coin tricks ok…maybe more like 5 or 7. You’d rub … Continue reading
The misanthropic city reveals itself in the weathering of architecture and pavement An erratic day of sunshine striated with clouds. Brought together in circumstances where survivalism divides us. The trees were lush, drenched with summer White tiles bleached with golden … Continue reading