Monday, November 26, 2012

of displacement

Wednesday night we hosted a wonderful evening of performance in our Aki Studio Theatre. Unearthing So(u)los was a collection of three works in progress exploring themes of decolonization with an eye to building bridges. Each piece was unique, immersive, thoughtful, and beautiful. In the spirit of development an informal talk back was held at the end of the night by the artists: nishaahuja, Victoria Mata and Rehana Tejpar.

In this talk back an important question was asked by an audience member. They were interested to know how the decision to perform in Daniels Spectrum, a shiny new beacon of the Regent Park redevelopment, could have been made considering the themes within their pieces and their own relationship with communities of displaced people. The question didn’t go unanswered: nisha stated that they considered ‘Daniels Spectrum’ the name on the outside of the building and spoke to her relationship with Native Earth. Victoria referenced the lack of affordable performance space in the city where one could put on such a showcase. In the end it was clear that the question had spurred a conversation, and that the conversation was not over.

nisha working on a Keith Barker play at Weesageechak 24. Photo by Scott Benesiinaabandan
Native Earth recognizes the responsibility that goes hand in hand with managing any venue. We acknowledge that this venue in particular comes with a deeper need to connect with our community and the community of Regent Park. Frankly, this excites and invigorates us. We often speak together about decolonizing the process of creation in theatre, and taking down ruling hierarchical systems in our work. Now we get to really do that, make our own rules, and invite others to do the same.

So, let’s chat.

-          Rae

“Unearthing” was a presentation of three solo works in progress including “Un-settling” by nisha ahuja, “Arterias” by Victoria Mata and “Love Flows Down” by Rehana Tejpar

nisha ahuja will be performing with “The Besetting of Reena Virk with the Subtle Vigilance Collective on Dec 1st at 8 PM and Dec 2nd at 2 PM in the Aki Studio Theatre. 

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