“Returning to Home: A series of re/embodied workshops that focuses our attention to recognising, resetting and restoring.”
Sunday 28 June, 11:00am -12:30pm GMT+1 , Workshop 1: let me give you some breathing space, Facilitator: Annie Jael Kwan https://bit.ly/2AymcgS
Saturday 4 July, 11:00am – 3:00pm GMT+1, Workshop 2: A Sky Full of Stars: A body-positive workshop centring sense of acceptance, self-appreciation and love, Facilitator: Whiskey Chow https://bit.ly/2At0dba
This series was first envisioned as a three-day workshop utilizing theatre skills in bringing together bodies in movement, play and intimacy. These months of compounded challenges of the pandemic, social distancing and isolation, the shift of the digital space, and the surge of rage at the brutal murder of George Ffloyd – opened up painful questions around what does it mean to be ‘present’ physically? What does it mean to be together? What does it mean to allow each other space to breathe?
Apart from being simply a substitute holding space, can the digital realm provide conditions that allow for deeper connections and even more radical transformations? Looking to other narratives where the physical body has been denied, negated, or de-valued, the workshop series have been re-made with the priority of sharing space, recognizing our many states of flux and being, redistributing our resources and attention to reclaim being-at-home with ourselves.
Curated by Annie Jael Kwan.
For all information on the workshops and to book tickets, please see below:
Workshop 1: let me give you some breathing space
by Annie Jael Kwan
Everything, and everyone, starts with the breath. In the age of safe social distancing, the act of breathing has been perceived as perilous, and possibly violent. In the public space of systemic racism and violence, breathing is a desperate act. As we wait, in the fact of ongoing anxiety and rapid social changes, we catch our breath. This digital workshop offers a safe space for us to recognize what we’ve gone through and what we’re carrying, and to relocate the self in this space of transition and flux between the digital and the disembodied. Working with ‘presencing’, breathing, listening, writing, sound, we will gather, ground, and honour our scattered selves in an experimental, collective creative process.
A body-positive workshop aiming to reset a sense of acceptance, self-appreciation and love
by Whiskey Chow
With thanks to Emmanuel Guillaud, Lisa Hayes, Sabrina Richmond and all the participants who decided to remain anonymous, for their contributions.
Saturday 4th July, 11am – 3pm
This digital workshop aims to create a safe space for all types of bodies and genders to collectively build up a self-adoring narrative via presentation and representation of one’s body. Led by queer Asian artist Whiskey Chow, this is a journey to explore the relationship between one’s body and oneself; embracing vulnerability and intimacy. It is a group experiment to self-curated a bodyscape that stands for unapologetic queer path to alternative beauty.
“’Cause you get lighter the more it gets dark…
‘Cause you’re a sky, you’re a sky full of stars”
We are taking the advantage of digital meeting software to create a safe space for all participants. People will be encouraged to bring one image representing/reflecting their relationship between themselves and their bodies. Those images will work as a shelter allowing participants to express freely without showing their faces. All visual communication in the workshop will be through still and moving image of one’s body, but participants will have full control of their own agency. Details of the workshop to be informed after our selection process, but feel free to contact us if you want to know more or have any concern before signing up.
N.B. We don’t want to make things complicated or competitive. The selection process for this workshop is just a way to optimize the experience of all participants and final outcome of the workshop. Thus, we will ask you two questions when you sign up with us.
Duration: 4 hours (includes a lunch break and regular breaks throughout)
“Turning to queer Asian diasporas opens up forgotten histories of racialized intimacy within the received genealogies of liberal humanism, one largely defined by the dialectic of white-black race relations in the black Atlantic” David L Eng, The Feeling of Kinship
“Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from my body – from the experience of the ‘cellular body,’ and then from the act of squeezing that experience into a linear form. The feeling, the experience comes first; then there’s the naming of it, calling it into being.” Deborah Hay
What does it mean to live with or take responsibility for a historical event that one has never actually experienced? How do we as queer diaspora restore affective correspondences in spite of intergenerational and epigenetic traumas? The workshop Embodied Affective Correspondences will explore possibilities for bringing the psychic space of ‘home’ into quarantine, using the language of gesture to bridge and restore the connective tissue of culture and selfhood. We will invite members of queer diaspora to share in developing their own invocation ritual, using the tools of exploratory touch, somatic learning and collective movement.
We will provide live captioning throughout the workshops.
If you have hearing impediments and would like us to send you the UTR for a more enhanced live caption experience, please contact us on this email address [email protected] and we will send it to you near the workshop date.
The workshop will have members of the performingbordersLIVE team to support any needs that might occur throuhout this process and the management of participants where needed.
This workshop is free and open to anyone. If you have any particular access requirement needs or would like more information, please contact us at [email protected]
June Lam (b. 1990) is an Australian artist of Chinese and Vietnamese ancestry, living in London and working across sculpture, performance and dance. As a performer of live art, he has worked with modes of somatic learning and movement as a form of gender exploration. In his practice he wishes to challenge the Eurocentric gaze and find new ways of articulating desire as a queer Asian trans body in the world. He also frequently performs work by other visual artists, which has included the UK debut staging of A Life (Black & White) by Nedko Solakov (2020), at Tate Modern; the UK premiere of we shall run by Yvonne Rainer (2018) at London Contemporary Music Festival, Ambika P3 (2018); Tape Piece by Maya Verlaak & Andy Ingamells (2018) for Body as Archive, Slade Research Centre.
Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator and researcher based in London and working across Europe and Asia. Her background is in theatre studies, cultural studies and modern and contemporary art history, and her practice is located at the intersection of contemporary art and activism with an interest on issues related to archives, histories, feminist, queer and alternative knowledges, collective practice and solidarity. She is a recipient of a Diverse Actions Leadership Award 2019 and co-leads Asia-Art-Activism, currently in residence at Raven Row till November 2020.
Whiskey Chow London-based performance artist and Chinese drag king. Whiskey’s art practice engages with broadly defined political issues, covering a range of related topics: from female and queer masculinity, problematizing the nation-state across geographic boundaries, to stereotypical projections of Chinese/Asian identity. Her performance is interdisciplinary, combining embodied performance with moving image and experimental sound pieces. Whiskey currently works as Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Guest Lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Chelsea College of Arts. Whiskey has been involved in feminist and LGBTQ activism in China since 2011. She contributed to and performed in ‘For Vaginas’ Sake (2013)’ (original Chinese version of The Vagina Monologues), and curated the first Chinese LGBTQ music festival, Lover Comrades Concert (2013), Guangzhou. Whiskey’s recent performances include: The Moon is Warmer than the Sun, Queering Now, Rich Mix, London (2020); Unhomeliness, Tate Modern, London; Whiskey the Conqueror, Tate Britain, London (2018); Purely Beautiful New Era (ft. Haocheng Wu), Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Great Conversation, Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala (2017).