DIY: 2018 – Project O: How do we DEAL and how do we do better/do US?

A three day retreat where we will sauna and do metal work, being with our bodies and thinking together about how to move against established systems of power

Deadline for applications: 5pm, Mon 11 June (Applications for this DIY are now closed)
This DIY is supported by Scottish Sculpture Workshop

Project summary

Untangling the knots in stomach pits formed trying to hold this so called ‘moment’ of increased mainstream coverage of sexual violence as part of a ‘re-invigorated’ feminism, up against the continual, relentless plurality of violent moments borne out of living in systematic antiblackness. We want to spend some time sweating together and untangling those knots so that they can extend into action through languaging the critical perspective those knots are articulating. Join us for 3 days at Scottish Sculpture to sauna, to process, to detox, to allow the rising heat and the breathing through it.

We are interested in the ways that other intense embodied experiences can support, transform, shift, disrupt patterns of thinking and feeling in order to energise and inspire new ideas for further action.

We are trying to notice, listen and find ways to speak about when, why and how certain artistic spaces and discourses aimed at fostering ‘togetherness’ encourage positions of over-exposure without protection, or cast roles of disruptors that disempower when the misnamed disruption then becomes a viable commodity for institutions who think that intersectionality is a tick box and not a tool for deconstructing systems…

What action can we take in internal and external (group) organising? When does critique mobilise towards change and enhanced abilities for perceiving structures, and when is it a tool for continued oppression? How do we survive our ambivalence and own complicities?

From a place of frankness, we want to embody and make space for energising and mobilising those responses that take up residence within our bodies when we feel we have no space – or language – to express.

We want to make a space that works with physical forms (sweat, dance, clay/iron) that acknowledges, holds and interrogates our internal experiences towards pushing critique and expanding artistic practice away from a culture of continual gaslighting.

What do we do from here? How do we do this together? What next? We invite applicants to propose ideas for activities, conversations and practices they would want to engage with in such a space. Nothing will be compulsory. We will have support from a general technician.

How to apply

‪All applications are private and will come directly to us (Project O – Alexandrina and Jamila).

To apply please complete the form or send us a link or a video or an audio recording that shares your thoughts/feelings/ideas/questions in response to our proposal. Let us know where you will be travelling from and returning to, and a bit about yourself. Please feel free to inform us‪ of any access needs or specific requirements you have so that we can better facilitate your time with us.

Dates, times and location

Dates: 19 – 22 Jul 2018
Location: Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Aberdeenshire

Accommodation will be private rooms within the Scottish Sculpture Workshop lodgings. Food will be provided. Contributions to travel can be made.

The artists

Project O is a collaboration between Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small.

Project O make dances to dance themselves out of the desire for and expectation of an aesthetic assimilation that upholds a system of white supremacy that is at once subtle, blatant and all pervasive. 

For questions about this DIY, please contact Alexandrina and Jamila.

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