A Proposed Non-Manifesto

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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.

Agonistic cohabitation.

Recognising the messiness of bodies

Sticky with Affect

(not just logical rhetoric).

Polyphonic conversations…

(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.

 

 

14 April 2018. Conversations at the Intersection of Time.

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

08.03.18 #TheRebelDaughters

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08 March 2018

#TheRebelDaughters
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.

*Note: Parsons Green tube station was the site of a terrorist attack and a stabbing last year.

#reimagineplaces

12 Jan 2018 In The Company of Clouds

31 Dec 2017 in the company of clouds

Dragonbreath sunsets

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

and humbling.

 

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,

rolling, still.

That which was built yesterday will be washed away

with forgetting.

Another journey is about to begin.

 

I must learn to begin, again.

I don’t know where it will lead, but

not knowing is a part of attending to

possible

            beginnings.

                                 A small bird skips across the muddy sand as

jazz lullabies play from the radio of a car.