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A never-ending, unrelenting staircase.
I disappear.
Crawling along the side of Table Mountain.
Imposing stacked, dark grey walls
as if they were made by sky giants 
playing jenga.

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.

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Table Mountain, Cape Town.

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Belated Birthday Reflections

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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.

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.

What Place Remains?

Thoughts, questions, reflections

after TaPRA PG Symposium 2017 at University of Leeds

‘Silence stalks me’, she says.

How much alignment does a politician need between campaign promises

and what is actually delivered to leave a heroic legacy?

The performance of authenticity is not reliability.

Charisma is not indicative of wisdom

or the selfless ability to serve.

What qualifies as an excess of performance in politics?

What performances do we expect of politicians?

Let us unfetter language as we tune down the affect of sound

Silence apportions space.

Someone once said, ‘Silence is possible in an anechoic chamber,

but not with John Cage in it’.

The noise of our bodies, together, in space.

‘Does silence break word or do these words break silence?

You can choose silence but it never chooses you’

Can we dialogue through silence when words,

once articulated,

destroy all other potential words held in silence?

What is the ghost that lingers

in iconic theatres?

Can the national ever be separated from the historical?

Is the unfinished business Shakespeare’s,

Polykleitos the Younger who built the ancient theatre of Epidaurus,

or the people’s?

A longing for some place they lost…

‘One day, in the future, the chicken will become the most studied fossil’

for anthropologists.

How can we create art politically when

politics threatens to turn art into propaganda?

What invocations do we make with the pilgrimage to monumental places?

How does the anywhereness of convergent media

exacerbate our addiction to extract only that which is relevant to our lives?

To reduce what we experience to make meaning of it?

Can we stop wanting to win?

How does responsive design attend to meritocracy’s losers?

Must we be cruel to be invulnerable?

In other words,

can we play without being vulnerable?

‘The blog became a rear-view mirror’,

she reads for the author who is absent,

‘a space where the road behind me constantly foregrounded the road ahead

and the past was always present in the future’ (Pinchbeck 2016).

Can it be a meeting place where only one writes?

Is there place for conversations in a blog?

The journey we make is part of the ghosting

of place and places to be.

If you wait for something to be there for you,

it won’t be.

You have to make it up.

This is not a haiku

…these are just fragments of notes,
taken during Intersections 2017.
Adaptation as a Franken practice
Practice that seems closer than references
Revealing to trouble assumptions
Haptic ways of knowing. Thinking with your skin.
Touching is believing
To keep experimenting against the silence
To attend to affective alterities
The Imagination is also a place of struggle