In 2019, the Stiftung Genshagen invited me to perform Echoing Europe at the Schloss Genshagen as part of the Academy under the Trees 2020. It would have been interesting to bring the performance within such an imperial space and within the context of this year’s theme, Europe’s Evolving Approach to Collection Items from Colonial Contexts. Unfortunately, CoVid19 happened. The Academy was delayed for a year, and the Academy project leader, Noémie Kaufman tirelessly recreated the workshop in an online format. The challenge for me was to create a performance piece that would capture the issues and questions that I was reflecting on performatively in Echoing Europe, in a 15-minute Zoom stream.
In this piece, I contemplated on the paradox of simultaneous digital intimacy and disconnect brought about by online video conferencing formats that shaped our pandemic social interaction. I wanted to capture the power of sound to envelope us–as something that was removed from us by digital socialization and as an epistemological tool in thinking through the ontological affect of decolonization. In the video performance I spoke about how:
“In unpacking the archive, I bring myself closer to the recorded voices kept in the storage rooms. I want to rethink the intimacies that such voices have with bodies that they were removed from. I think about how we could ask these voices to step beyond the colonial frames in which we have relegated them. And I ask myself, how these voices could intimately speak back to us.”