DIY 2020 – Gillie Kleiman: Fat Performance

A six-week collectively-generated course on and in Fat Performance for fat people.

This DIY is run in partnership with Colchester Arts Centre

About the workshop

Despite the fact that fat people have always existed and have always performed, fat people can be excluded from performance environments just as much as we are excluded from other parts of society. This DIY will gather a group of up to twelve fat people who make performance or want to make performance, whether or not that work is explicitly about fatness, to collectively engage in reading, watching, thinking, talking and in short creative assignments. Everybody will contribute materials with which we can engage. This will become a Fat Performance DIY Workbook/Curriculum that we can, if we decide, offer to our wider Live Art community.

It will also be an opportunity to talk about fatness in our worlds of performance, share our experiences, and support one another to work to dismantle anti-fatness through, with, in and beyond Live Art.

Dates and location

Each week for six weeks from the first week of November. We will meet for two hours on Zoom; the time/day of the week is tbc. In between conversations, there will be agreed tasks/reading/watching activities to do; the Zoom will be a chance to feed back and discuss as a group and in breakout rooms – there will be breaks and we will only go on as long as we collectively need!

How to apply

This project is for practising performers and performance-makers who are fat. The project is not suitable for people who are not fat, even if they are interested in fat or fatness or have even made work about fat. Fat experience is often misunderstood, particularly by non-fat people who are kind. This is not a ‘body positive’ endeavour, though I would hope we would be positive about bodies of all sorts, which would not exclude difficulties of living a fat life in an anti-fat world.

This DIY welcomes experienced artists as well as those newer to making performance. 

However, participants should feel able to get on with tasks, with support if desired, and report back on learning for the benefit of the group.

You are strongly encouraged to read Dr Charlotte Cooper’s fantastic Study Room Guide on fat, entitled Tantalising Glimpses, before applying. If you are not sure if you are fat, this will help you think about it; if you are still not sure, please get in touch and I can provide you with some resources and links. 

To apply, please submit around 300 words on why you want to take part. You can write more or less; this is not an exercise in meeting the word count. You can make a video or audio track of no more than five minutes if you prefer. In this you should say something about your experience of fatness. You can also say anything else you would like about what you might hope to experience and what you might need in order to take part. It would be helpful but not mandatory to know about any access needs so that we can begin to plan accordingly. 

To apply via video/audio please submit your recording via WeTransfer to [email protected]

If there are more than twelve suitable applications then names will be picked out of a hat.

 

About the artist

I am a choreographer living and working in Newcastle upon Tyne. My work starts from the points of view of dance and choreography and results in performances, texts, events and pedagogical encounters that are presented in contexts associated with multiple artforms. I am interested in post-work politics, radical pedagogies, and the potentials of friendship. I have degrees, including a practice-based PhD, in dance and in performance. 

I am fat. Right now I am a ‘small fat’, according to the Fat Lip Fatness Spectrum, but I have been fatter (and I have been thinner). I experience some thin privilege. I have made one performance explicitly about fatness, Ophelia is not Dead, which is available in the LADA Study Room. The rest of my work has been focused on other things. You can read more about my work at gilliekleiman.com.

For more information please contact [email protected]

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