performingbordersLIVE23 Programme & Documentation

After three years of digital-only transnational collaborations, performingborders created performingbordersLIVE: Our Bodies in the Commons, a hybrid in person and digital day event at Battersea Arts Centre (London) exploring movement, sharing, and conversation, to re-centre our bodies in the explorations of borders, live art, community, and resistance.

In Our Bodies in the Commons, performingborders created a gathering which considered what we can do when we harness our resources, time, bodies, and care, to collectivise them. Starting from a place of lived experience, the day’s activities moved away from disembodied and individualised discourse around solidarity and care, towards actions and gestures that are building and maintaining collective ways of working together.

Two sessions ran throughout the day to feed into these reflections:

Session 1: ‘Dance + Embodied Movement’ with Camille Barton
13:30 – 15:00
Location: Rec Room, Battersea Arts Centre

Artist Camille Barton opened the day with their embodiment and dance practice focusing on the connection within ourselves, our bodies, and those around us. This session integrates and invited us to process feelings gathered and deposited in our bodies throughout the pandemic and use them to build more beautiful futures together. Through the use of bass and other sonic and embodied interventions, this session was used to ground ourselves in preparation for the rest of the day. This session was open to all abilities and welcomed everybody to join in movement and embodiment work together.

15:00 – 16:00
Room: New Committee

A free and accessible open space for everyone to enjoy, sit at the table or in the provided chairs & puffs to rest, gather, talk, and eat. Throughout this period, audiences were invited to engage with Harun Morrison’s art work which was installed in the room, with the artist present. The food served was prepared by performingborders. This was the same room where the Childcare Group was entertaining and shepherding our audience and crew’s children with various activities including drawing and a cinema session.

Session 2: ‘Reading Karaoke: Rustling Words’ by Youngsook Choi with participation by Helena Walsh, Harun Morrison and Ximena Alarcón-Díaz
16:00 – 18:00
Room: Rec Room, Battersea Arts Centre

This video was edited and captioned following its broadcast by HowlRound Theatre Commons and Inclusive Digital.

Hybrid event, in-person at Battersea Arts Centre and Live streamed on HowlRound Theatre Commons

In the second session, artist Youngsook Choi guided us through performingborders’ latest e-journal Rallying the Commons. Our collective journey through the journal included embodied interventions into its content, texts, and images to collectively explore other ways of working together.

Through the format of a Reading Karaoke, we experimented with communal reading as a site of radical joy, collective un/learning and solidarity building. During the session, Youngsook was joined by artists and contributors from the e-journal Ximena Alarcón-Díaz, Harun Morrison and Helena Walsh, all of which performed actions and experiments which highlighted their contributions to the e-journal and provided new collective pathways to their research.

Screening: ‘It is impossible to say everything here so I will leave you with this’ by SERAFINE1369
18:00 – 18:30
Room: Rec Room, Battersea Arts Centre

The day ended with a special screening of It is impossible to say everything here so I leave you with this, a performance to camera by SERAFINE1369 which we commissioned last year.


Day programme posted on walls at Battersea Arts Centre