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performingborders newsletter | August 2021

14th August 2021

Over the past year, performingborders have been reflecting with our ‘critical friends’ on the systems and structures that we have employed in our work over the past few years. We want performingborders to be more border-free, borderless, or as borderless as it can be under capitalist structures that we are forced to navigate. The result of these conversations and our thinking is this month’s newsletter: Shifting Landscapes.

We digested ideas of collectivity, horizontally, and open language through four reflections: Ale wrote A journal, Un diario, Xav interviewed choreographer Dinis Machado in On temporalities and process of transformation, and the newest member of performingborders Anahi wrote Entre acá y allá, Encuentros Solitarios. We were also joined by Istanbul Queer Art Collective who reflected on “automation and possession in live art and performance” in their text Whatever Possessed You To Perform? as a part of an ongoing collaboration and conversation that performingborders is having with the Performance, Possession & Automation project.

We hope you enjoy reading through the seeding and growth of these new ideas in our thinking.

Read the full newsletter here.

Alessandra Cianetti is a London-based curator, creative producer, and practice-based researcher. Her collaborative work explores urgent socio-political issues with a focus on the transformational power of visual and live art practices that embody notions and lived experiences of physical and intersectional borders. She is the founder of performingborders.

Anahi Saravia Herrera (she/her) is a London-based writer, producer, and community organiser. Anahi is physically based in the “west” but as much as possible, creates work in the Latinx diaspora, she was born in La Paz, Bolivia. 

Her practice revolves around a creative research process that leads to creating anything from playlists and sounds to writing, collaborating with others, and performances at the intersection of the everyday. It is a collaborative, process-led practice driven by intuition. Archives and language are a core part of her practice and she often works from a collected archive of memories, sounds, notes, and family photographs. Creative methods of exploring the politics of feminism and anti-racism are at the forefront of Anahi’s practice. She is an organizer with feminist groups such as the Feminist Assembly of Latin Americans as well as the Designer and Cultural Workers Union. @anahi_saravia

Dinis Machado (They, Ela, Hen) With a background in dance and visual art, Dinis Machado’s work is informed by how the sculptural construction of objects, spaces and bodies is reclaimed and worked as choreographic material. In a post-somatic perspective, and caring about bodies that do not conceive, perform or imagine themselves as they are medically described, Machado works with ideas of mutation and transformation – psychedelic bodies that they imagine, claim, and consubstantiate for themselves.

Born in Porto, Machado has been based in Stockholm since 2012. They studied MA Choreography DOCH (Stockholm), Independent Studies Program at Maumaus – Visual Arts (Lisbon), BA in Theatre by ESTC (Lisbon) and studied ballet and contemporary dance at Balleteatro (Porto) from 1994-2002. In 2020 Machado was awarded the Birgit Cullberg Stipendium by the Swedish Art Grants Committee / Konstnärsnämnden.

Their works Site Specific For Nowhere and Cyborg Sunday were part of Moderna Museet’s quadrennial Moderna¬utställning¬en (2018). Their work has been presented in Austria, Croatia, Uruguay, France, Sweden, Germany, England, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Portugal in contexts such as ImpulsTanz, Weld, Dance 4, Chelsea Theatre, FIDCU, NAVE, Festival Arqueologias Del Futuro, ZDB/Negócio, METAL, Chisenhale Dance Space, Colchester Arts Centre, Rivoli, CCB, Festival DDD, Citemor, AGORA, Reflektor M, among others.

Istanbul Queer Art Collective was founded in 2012 to engage in live art, with a view that the documentation of performance is an art form in itself. The collective is currently based in London and is comprised of its two founding members Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul, who are firm believers in what Jack Halberstam calls the “queer art of failure” and what Renate Lorenz calls “radical drag”. Their performances range from the durational to the intimate and can morph towards other forms like sound art or installation. IQAC has performed at various art events around the world among which are: House of Wisdom Exhibition in Amsterdam and Nottingham; If Independent Film Festival and Mamut Art Fair in Istanbul, Athens Sound Acts Festival in Greece, Zürcher Theatre Spektakel and Les Belles de Nuit in Zurich and Deep Trash, Queer Migrant Takeover and NSA: Queer Salon in London.

Xavier de Sousa (he/they) is an independent performance maker and culture worker based between Brighton and Lisbon, whose practice explores personal and political heritage within the context of discourse on belonging and migration.

Through theatrical, durational performance and moving image, Xavier explores the dichotomies between the live experience and agency in the performance space, as well as written text and queer methodologies of performance and research.

Alongside his performance work, Xavier has written for publications such as In Other Words (2020), Les Cahiers Luxembourgeous and Centre National de Littérature Luxembourg (2021). He curates the digital platform and commissioning programme performingborders and New Queers on the Block, Marlborough Productions’ Artistic and Community Development Programme. He is co-founder of Producer Gathering and activist group Migrants in Culture. He is a member of BECTU and ITC.

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Image credits: performingborders