Declarations is a series of site-specific performances/interventions consisting of On the Move, performed as a journey along the so-called “Balkan Route” from February through April 2016, and On the Land, to performed in Bethlehem, Palestine in May 2016.
Declarations I: On the Move
In the contemporary world, notions of “universal human rights” are contradicted every day in the ways migrants and refugees are produced and subsequently treated by nation-states. On the Move is a declaration of universal right to freedom of movement performed as a personal pilgrimage, in reverse from Germany, a “destination country,” through the “Balkan route” to a “point of departure,” Turkey, a path that is marked with much suffering and hope inscribed by the myriad bodies still traversing it. During the journey I passed through eight countries and twelve cities along the way and connected with people on the move and the local artists and activists that support them.
Declarations II: On the Land
In their expansionism, Settler states violate the rights of Indigenous peoples and cause massive displacement. They also ravage the land and all beings on it. This can be seen most readily in Israel, where seventy-plus years of terrorizing settlement policies and practices have not only created one of the largest and longest displacements of people post WWII, but also a deeply scared landscape. On the Land is a declaration of the interconnectedness of humans, the land and all beings, and the rights of all to thrive in peace. This piece was performed with the participation of the students of Dar al-Kalima University on May 15 (Nakbah day) 2016, as a procession from the village of Batir through the threatened Wadi Al-Makhrour to Beit Jala.
Read about project’s conceptual background here.
I would like to acknowledge Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, for funding support, Dar Al-Kalima University and Rehab Nazzal for inviting me to Bethlehem for a period of residency, the many individuals who subscribed to my artcard missives during the journey and helped fund the activities with refugees, the many artists and activists who hosted and worked with me along the way, and the students at Dar Al-Kalima who brought their stories and energies.