Dancing Through the Diaspora
Dancing Through the Diaspora was rehearsed and performed during lockdown from May to June 2020. When the government in California issued a stay at home mandate the focus was to gather people within multiple networks who are based in North America. Disorientation during the pandemic was not the only reason to gather.
This was particularly painful for those who celebrate Norouz, the New Year for Iranians, people of Afghan heritage, and Parsis. Discriminatory legislation, such as the Travel Ban executed by the Trump Administration, left many with increased anxiety and anger. Would it ever be possible to travel and be with our loved ones again? The ambition was to precisely and concretely narrate collectively how categories of nationality break the psychic body, especially for members of diasporic communities.
Feelings of distress that intensified at the start of the pandemic escalated after the murder of George Floyd. Since participating in the Black Lives Matter protests was not an option for those who are or were living with immunocompromised conditions, shaping the project within the context of a virtual demonstration that was physically and psychologically safe became a priority.
To maintain sustained connection during a period of isolation and societal division, dismantling categories of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity through explicit, uniform movement sequences evoked another way to view how normative forms of identification can be resisted and subverted.
A special thank you goes out to Francisco Eme of The FRONT Arte Cultura for promoting the project on July, 4th 2020.