The Room of the Diasporas (NYU-Abu Dhabi, 2019)

I’m excited to be at NYU Abu Dhabi next week for the reconvening of The Room of Diasporas project.

The Room of the Diasporas: Per/Forming the “Diasporic Experience” On the Filipino Diaspora and re/creating spaces away from home as an act of imagining and self-preservation was originally a dramaturgical inquiry concept paper first presented at the Performance Studies International #18 Culture & Industry International Conference at the University of Leeds in Leeds, United Kingdom on June 2012. The Room of the Diasporas is a transnational performance-installation open-ended project. It was borne out of the collaborative efforts of four Filipino scholars/artists who are in diaspora themselves at the time of conception: Arlo de Guzman, Dennis Gupa, Chris Gozum, and meLê yamomo.

The Room of the Diasporas at its core is a  device performance-installation that will explore how to address the “alienations, needs, gains, and negotiations associated with economic, cultural and refugee migration/diaspora.”  It will revolve around a performance-installation-specifically designed/constructed white room. The room will have two- part schema of sensorial experience of the migrant experience: Departure and Arrival that will both engage the audience members and turn them as witnesses and participants of the imagined zones of migratory experiences. Through the schema, the audience becomes an immediate part of the creating/creation of the performance. As the witnesses we engage them as spectators rehearsing the acts of knowing migrating within the re/created “sensorial experience” of the migrants. By doing this we are attempting to understand what Augosto Boal introduced the “spect-actor” by allowing the witnesses goes through the processes of engaging with a foreign physicalized/embodied experience. The room becomes a baptismal pool of memories and narratives for those who have not experienced working/migrating/immigrating in a foreign land.

The project jreceived the NYUAD Arts & Humanities Research/Creative grant which will bring all collaborators to do preliminary workshops/discussions in NYUAD, slated on 6-12 December, 2019.

[Update] The banner photo was taken during the workshop at NYU-AD on 9 December 2019.