In these three videos, part of the output of a series of intensive workshops, discussions and performances, we explore the ability of gestures to represent relations of power, exchange, and collaboration. For these performances, we mobilized Brazilian popular education and theater activist Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed techniques to prompt students to express nuanced dissent against economic structures that over-determine our daily interactions with one another.
Collaboration with Hong-An Truong
Interview/Interrogation as Performance of Citizenship.
What defines the [multiplicity] is the AND, as something which has its place between the elements or between the sets. AND, AND, AND – stammering.
In this tutorial, participants who have never had to naturalize into the United States rehearse the process of becoming a citizen through an interview format. Those who have gone through a process of naturalization have the option to relinquish their citizenship. Within the span of a conversation-interview, participants help problematize the notion of allegiance and the structure of authority and power implicit in the state. Finally, this tutorial helps to underscore the ideal of responsibility to community and place, while also considering different forms of belonging through the concept of ‘nomadic citizenship.’
AND, AND, AND – Stammering: An Interview is part of Radical Citizenship, a project conceived and organized by Mary Walling Blackburn. In Radical Citizenship, over 25 tutors, ranging from archaeologists to musicians, artists to ecologists, provide one-on-one tutorials with visitors to Governor's island, Angel Island, and the San Francisco-based organization Southern Exposure. Each tutor offers a separate deconstruction of citizenship, offering abstract and concrete examples and investigations of radical citizenship, an unregulated form of belonging.
Hong-An Truong and I read the transcript of a well known recorded phone conversation between Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger from April 15, 1972 in which they strategize the continued bombing of North Vietnam. Reversing pronouns so that I's become you's and we's become they's etc, subjectivity is confused, language descends into absurdity, and we are simultaneously implicated in and deny this reification of power structures.