‘Changing Perspectives by Water Magic’ is a performance about what it feels like to travel along the River Ivindo in North-Eastern Gabon in a dugout canoe - the incredible beauty of the shape-shifting nature around you. I was living and wayfaring with the Baka, a group of former hunter-gatherers, in Gabon (Central Africa) from 2010-2011 (mobility1006.wordpress.com). From the perspective of the dugout canoes, you can deeply experience-see-perceive-feel-think-appreciate the continuous story of transformative shape-shifting and diversity that is the process we call life – for people and nature.
The performance was created for the joint exhibition ‘THE STORIES THEY TOLD’, shown at the 5th Base Gallery, London, 12th - 17th August 2016 (5thbase.co.uk). Working on the piece with Catalonian choreographer Artur Villalba inspired bringing out the essence of the river journeys. As my part of the exhibition, I showed the nature images also seen in the performance.
My time living with the Baka in the tropical forests of Gabon was originally to research on how and why the Baka are or are not mobile today, as part of my Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at the University of Cologne in Germany (sfb806irtg.uni-koeln.de/?page_id=1534). This performance is one aspect of the on-going process to share what is special about Baka mobility and social organisation in non-academic ways.
Thank you to all who made my time in Gabon such a distinguishing experience, and to those of you who helped realise the exhibition and the performance of ‘Changing Perspectives by Water Magic’.
Find out more about my work and projects on mobility, sensorial awareness and social change at: movementresearch.net