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The Human Microphone

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Happy to announce I will be part of the residency program and festival Xarkis Festival - 2019 - Φεστιβάλ Ξαρκής in Cyprus.
The festival takes place on the 16th,17th and 18th of August. Please feel welcome to join my (writing and performance) workshop 'The human microphone' (on queer trauma survival)


Why this workshop?
Personal stories of hurt, not functioning as society asks you, because you are hurt by society's (capitalist, hegemonic) problems, this is/ can be seen as a border (gender, sexuality, shame, functioning and misunderstanding) creating distance. A direct affect that is always relational. Your problems are forced into a form of personal shame or guilt, but for what or who actually, and what structures are repeated to fill in certain emotions?

Borders created by ideas on gender are produced by patriarchy, and reproduced by many, through structures of shaming, victim blaming and other capitalist constructs of value.
While we all want to move beyond trauma, the part of our brain that is devoted to ensuring our survival is seen as a negative. But we can see potential in taking action differently, rethinking an otherwise, being different, seeing potential in not finding “a cure” as expected. Curing and progress are mostly related to capitalist ideas of progression and value.

By creating alternative anthems, that we together amplify with our voice, creating and remixing, we make other value commitments, not anthems relating to nation, as we all know anthems, but related to the complexity of non-linear idea's on activism and vulnerability. Protest anthems : To shout, to release, to change, as counter narratives of the dominant system that forces what is discussed and made (in)visible.

How to think of alternative ways of living and not see it as failure, but just being? What is failure if we re-consider health and refuse functioning in capitalist ideas of success? (failure as critique on capitalism if making money is seen as success.
Another form to think about failure is thinking how the current system is already failing, but keeps absorbing more and asking more of people. What if we refuse to give? The system could break, because it's powerful only through repetition of it's power. Fail and refuse to show that the used bodies fit for making profit can fail to create for capitalism, but make something new, create different hierarchies, even if it's imaginative through a performative act.

If personal stories relating to gender can show borders ; regularly connected to hurt and trauma and or violence ; how can we break those borders, claim our autological stories but refuse the genealogical narrative around it? Use the 'negative' (shame, vulnerability, failure) as power tools and change narrative of becoming “better” or “in need of cure” as this is connected in a society of labour, capitalism and sexism. How to create different ideas on the potential of failure if success is claimed by capitalism? What are the terms failure and refusal actually? How to use the negative, the dissonance as power tools? Consider emotions as valid, present always, but not always leading to a 'solution'.

Reclaiming what is 'normal' behaviour, sexuality and desire is a start to think of potential other futures.
We can propose alternative becomings and subjectivities. Breaking dominant narratives and so called positivity within capitalist thinking. We can't break capitalism, but we can break our patterns of personal ideas on growth.

Our writing and reading breaks open narratives and subject matters, setting things into movement, offering an improvisational space in which different voices and imaginaries converge, sound together, go apart, come back together and are taken home in collective memory.

What are we going to do?
The people's microphone' creates alternative anthems by using voices as echo/amplification, similar to the Occupy movement. Breaking borders of gender ; why do we see shame, trauma, mental issues only as a negative 'in need of a cure'? It is based on the negative victim blaming from the outside. How can we use those elements as power-tools? Shame as rethinking and trauma as activating alternative thinking against capitalist ideas. Non-linear activism told by stories. Maybe you don't consider yourself an activist, but what your body and mind went through creates a different way of thinking, mental disorder is a construct, a cure is an idea of progression claimed by capitalism.

By using sound and voice as a conceptual tool, letting other spaces resonate with stories and frequencies, Saskia tries to improvise, telling alternative storylines in a non-linear way as form of resistance. Trauma and the negative outcome of that, (mental issues) can be a way of rethinking, fragmenting, reconsidering and reconstructing vulnerability without the capitalist claiming of it. Shame as rethinking borders. Sound and resonance used as a tool is the first step to create alternative anthems to find value commitments not relating to capitalism, but to care and listening. The workshop and the outcome will be in English, unless there is a conceptual need to speak native tongue. We will work in a group of queer/female people, the outcome will be collective performance with the tool of a human microphone. See video file The Human Microphone

Method / writing
With a small group we start writing our (personal) anthems, reacting and listening to each others stories. Not as therapy, but as tools for potential other futures and justice to come.
Any emotion is valid of course.

We will read some texts and watch lectures on improvisation, queerness, shame, pieces on trauma, queer time, failure and activism and anthem use.
With that we make anthems, rhythms with stories, repeated by the group as resonance.

Live we can make a collective text or a combination of everyone's text. You can say your own sentences or someone else's (depending on your privacy needs) and we amplify it with the audience who become participants. For me this is an experiment as well.

We could also choose to do the whispering method as well, whisper the story in somebody's ear and somebody will whisper it to the next during the whole festival.

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