Wednesday, June 24, 2015

blood on my hands and other thoughts about communication and marginalization

Today I sent in my application for a Research Week at Random Collision in Groningen September 12-20, 2015, which I understood to be about individual (in)visibility in relation to social/ly dominant/ groups, especially if the individual enacts desires or states that are deemed alien by such (a) group(s).

It made me re-visit Pelléas material / b.a.n.q. and re-live my continued ambivalence about this work from 2013. There are many complications, exactly because of the interplay of various levels of privilege and (un)acknowledgement.

I did realize that my very position a bit closer to the margins of White Male Class Privilege (White, but not 'Western', cis-male passing, but not heterosexual and when possible not gender-conforming, part Gentry/nobility, part 'middle class', but neither fully) and the experience of being a foreigner, either by ethnicity or class, through at least three generations, has played out in the development of my professional career in the Netherlands. The un-alignedness with the social surroundings continued and still can produce some very awkward situations.

The latest article "White Fragility, Silence, and Supremacy: Why All White Hands Are Bloody"
by choreographer Malik Nashad Sharpe confirmed my decision to perform in the near future with (fake-) blood on the palms of my hands, when I perform my own work. While I am not U.S.-American, I do find it important to raise very similar questions for the situation in Europe, e.g. how to this very day thousands of people get killed at the Schengen-borders, the livelihoods of many millions destroyed by many hundreds of years of various kinds of colonialism and exploitation which among others, benefits European elites.
(It is an entirely different chapter how much of 'trickle-down' has happened as a consequence for the general population, then and now, and how much the same kind of Colonialism was inflicted on the various Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, and other nations on the European subcontinent, under the banner of first the Roman Empire and then "Christianization", before more and more of them became the new Romans, and continued to do the same in return to others ...) 

Of course part of the desired outcome will depend on the awareness of the witnessing spectator / audience. I do not intend to always let people know why I need to do this, unless they ask, and even then, I would not always feel like having to explain. I know for myself that this is something that I very much need to do. Not having a large-scale company to think of can make such a decision a little bit easier to realize. An advantage of living and working a bit closer to the edges of White Male Class privilege which will hopefully contribute to further undo the very same privilege, in my private life and in my work as a choreographer, who signed on to be responsible for creating kinesthetic experiences, also referred to as dance.