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Performing Migratory Identity

Friday 30th October 2015
1pm-5pm

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Performing Migratory Identity: Performance Research on Displacement, Belonging and Auto/Bio and Participatory Biography

Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan’s College, University of Durham

1:00 – 5:00 pm (lunch included)

Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab in partnership with the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities, University of Durham, the Performing Arts, University of Northumbria, Platforma Arts + Refugee Network and The Forge, reflects on the performance, film and installation work of London-based artist and researcher, Natasha Davis.

From Rupture, Asphyxia, and Suspended, to her multi-chaptered Internal Terrains and Teeth Show, Davis imagines and renders intimate auto/biographical architectures of memory, identity, migration, displacement, trauma and the body.

Davis’s work is informed by personal experience of enforced migration, of crossing borders and a temporary loss of citizenship. Her performances – underpinned by longitudinal research – move fluently and fractiously between auto/bio and participatory biographies, challenging many disciplinary truisms and boundaries.

Inspired by a provocation from Indian dramaturge Rustom Bharucha, who subverts the question ‘When the play ends, what remains?’ into ‘When the play ends, what begins?’ Learning Lab explores the place of performance in engaging publics on the themes of identity, migration, memory and auto/biography.

Following a response by performance artist Jane Arnfield (Reader in Arts, Director of Fine & Visual Arts Programmes, Northumbria University), questions for participants to consider include: how can personal autobiographical material open up and facilitate participatory experiences and insights? What form of knowledge is created and received through Davis’s mix of performance, visual and live art and academic research? What can be revealed about histories of migration and displacement through using the body and memory as critical, performance tools? What might performance-led visual and live art bring to the social sciences, sciences and policy disciplines, what possibilities can we imagine?

In conversation with a range of practitioners from the creative arts, drama and performance, and the humanistic social sciences – Davis will present a range of critical methodologies that are central to her work by way of presentation, excerpts and a public interview.

Our thanks to St Aidan’s College, University of Durham for hospitality and support of Learning Lab.

For more information contact:

Maggie O’Neill: maggie.o’neill@durham.ac.uk

Áine O’Brien: aine@counterpointsarts.org.uk

For more on Learning Lab, see here: http://learninglabeditions.org/

Image: Unrooted, by Natasha Davis