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Durational Performance: The Art of Walking by Pankaj Tiwari

14th June 2020

The Art of Walking by Pankaj Tiwar in collaboration with Abhishek Thapar

3rd July – 15th July 2020

‘The Art of Walking’ is a durational performance walk of 312 km from Amsterdam to the refugee camps in Calais, France.  

‘The Art of Walking’ is a performative project that raises awareness in Europe and beyond about the ongoing struggle of migrant laborers displaced after the COVID-19 lockdown in India and that have been walking long distances from big cities to their native villages.

After waiting for a few weeks for transport; millions of people started walking, walking long distances, for days, weeks, months; from 400 to 2200 km. Few died on the way, few lost their children, few got killed by a train, few survived to reach home.

The walk from Amsterdam to Calais connects the crisis in India to an ongoing humanitarian crisis across the world that spells privilege, as much as it spells dispossession, loss and homelessness.

The artists will document the walk, the performance, and the conversations it will initiate as they go along and, as a final act, a meal will be cooked, shared, and eaten together with the Calais migrants upon arrival.

‘The Art of Walking’ seeks to create space for conversation, and exercise an urgent role and function of art in the time of crisis.

How to experience it:  

Closer to the start of the performance, we will open a live post on our website’s main page where pictures, writing and short videos of the piece will be posted throughout as it happens. Please add your contact details to our newsletter and/or signing up to our social media accounts, for all the information nearer the date.

Twitter: @perfborderslive

Instagram:  @performingborderslive

The Art of Walking is presented by Foreign Actions Productions in collaboration with performingbordersLIVE20, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) ,  Flinnworks (Berlin), Standplaats (Utrecht), Over Het Ij Festival (Amsterdam).


Pankaj Tiwari (1990) is a theatre-maker and curator from Balrampur, India. He is currently a participant     at DAS Theatre, Amsterdam. Between 2011 and 2018, he worked as creative director for ‘The Fotons’, a performance-based group from India. He is also part of a collective called ’The Inquilaab, which consists of Amsterdam based India artist, Sarah Naqvi and Abhishek Thapar. Pankaj has been the founder of several community spaces. Sabarmati Cafe & Theatre (2017) and Meraki’s Kitchen & Theatre (2015) have been a few of his initiatives around culture and community building in India. On January 25th 2020, he initiated Current: a space, Amsterdam, which curates performances and works to build a new audience and a culture of Intersectionality. Pankaj uses theatre, food and farming as a medium for community building.

He has worked as a theatre facilitator, consultant and educator with institutes and organisations like Ambedkar University, IIT Gandhinagar, Pearl Academy Delhi, Kranti Mumbai, Breakthrough India, Disha India etc.  He was invited to be part of 4TH IETM Croatia (2018), Theatre Spektakel (2019), Bread and Puppet Theatre (2018), Imaginary School for the future of Performing Arts, Giessen (2019). He has been part of jury members and the advisory board for several national and international art residencies and festivals. Few of them include Belluard Theatre Festival Switzerland (2020), First playback Gathering Mumbai India (2019), Theatre of the Oppressed Residency Tejgadh (2016,17). Pankaj is invited to curate a space at theatre Spektakel Zurich (2020) and also performing with his collective Inquilaab, their new work Cow is a Cow is a Cow at the Spring Festival, Utrecht (2020).

Pankaj is invited to work as co-curator for Zurich Gessnerallee from October 2020. He will be curating one season for Gessnerallee each year till 2024. He is also curating a festival around Object, Memory and Migration for University of Minnesota 2020-21. His selected directorial works are Carnival: the fest of Bodies (2013-17), 30 days in September (2011-16), Laal Batti Express (2014-18), The 7Inch State (2016), They do not move (2017), The souvenir (2018). 

Abhishek Thapar (1985, Moga) is a theatre maker, performer, puppeteer and artist based in Amsterdam. He holds a postgraduate in Physical Theatre from London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) and a Master in Theatre degree from DAS Theatre, Amsterdam.

His works ‘My home at the Intersection’ and ‘Surpassing the Beeline’ has been co-produced and presented at various International festivals around the world: Theatre Spektakel, Zürich; Belluard Festival, Fribourg; Spielart, Munich; OzAsia Festival, Australia; Amsterdam Storytelling Festival; Frascati Theatre, Amsterdam; Ruhrfestspiele, Germany; Colombo International Theatre Festival, Sri Lanka;, HAU Berlin. He is part of the ‘The Inquilab Collective’ based out of Amsterdam for which he is directing a new work ‘Cow is a Cow is a Cow’ at the Spring Festival (Autumn), Utrecht (2020).

He is currently developing an artistic research and practice in postcolonial epistemologies, historiographic metafiction and storytelling. He is a recipient of Netherlands Fellowship Program (2015-17), 3Packadge deal (2018) and currently in residence at Standplaats, Utrecht (2019-21).

Support team: Sarah Naqvi