performingborders is a space for artistic research and creation, focused on notions and lived experiences of borders through international live art and performance practices. Drawing from the knowledge shared by the contributors of the platform, performingborders has over the years created digital and live public programmes of artist commissions, open calls, residencies, workshops, conversations, and events via its website, bi-monthly newsletters and performingbordersLIVE.
In October 2021, performingborders launched its first e-Journal which centres embodied knowledge and artist perspectives, and invites them to collectively reflect on borders, live art, community, and resistance.
Curated and facilitated by Alessandra Cianetti, Xavier de Sousa and Anahí Saravia Herrera, performingborders shares and supports experimental performative practices addressing notions and lived experiences of transnational and intersectional borders.
 LADA’s director Lois Keidan was the very first interviewee of the platform, and LADA has been delighted to be a  continued supporter of performingborders’ endeavours and explorations.
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artist Jade Montserrat writes on a wall with charcoal, wearing white. The writing reads 'Expendable bodies in Unspeakable Isolation' and 'Perpetual renual felt as a triumph for lie'. Still from 'RE:seeding: in correspondence' by Jade Montserrat, performingbordersLIVE20, October 2020

e-Journal #1: fragments for borderless futures

In October 2021, performingborders launched its first multi-disciplinary e-Journal ‘fragments for borderless futures’, inviting collaborators to collectively reflect on borders, live art, community, and resistance via the mediums of text, photography and performance to camera.

Centring embodied knowledge and perspectives from artists, researchers and activists based in the UK, Iran, Kenya and USA, the e-journal included text contributions from Elena Marchevska, Syowia Kyambi, Jade Montserrat, Vijay Mathew, Jemima Yong and Sagar Shah.

These texts sprang thinking around sheltering, collective work, ‘boundarying’ and freedom of movement, the impossibility of a single borderless future, and the frictions between the self and the institution. Sitting alongside these writings, it presented newly commissioned works, including ‘a place to sit’, a performance to camera by Tara Fatehi Irani as well as a photographic essay titled ‘urgent images’ by Manuel Vason.

Experience the e-journal here
Still from 'a place to sit' by Tara Fatehi Irani, performingborders e-Journal #1, October 2021
at the centre of the picture is a small house built with blue mabati sheets for walls, with a wooden-frame door. In the background, clear blue skyes and various vegetation and wild bushes surround the house. A dirt path leading to the front of the house. Mabati Structure' by Syowia Kyamb, performingborders e-Journal #1, October 2021


In 2020, performingbordersLIVE presented an online public programme of open calls, artist digital commissions, residencies, workshops, open conversations, and events, focusing on the exploration of experimental and exciting artistic practices happening within the UK Live Art sector around notions and lived experiences of physical, cultural, juridical, racial, gendered, class, and everyday borders.

Following a call for proposals, LADA collaborated with performingbordersLIVE to commission two digital conversations. The recipients of the commissions are the London-based performance artist and Chinese drag king Whiskey Chow, for a borderless digital conversation with US-based transmasculine artist Cassils about what art can do during and beyond global crises, and Sebastian Aguirre, Carolyn Defrin, Syowia Kyambi, and Elena Marchevska, for an open-ended series of digital discussions: a riot of short reflections on lived, precarious, migrant experience patched onto bigger discussions on feminism and care.

LADA and performingbordersLIVE  commissioned a new performance to camera by the artist Tania El Khoury (interview on Hyperallergic here), and LADA supported and hosted the closing event Unbordering of performingbordersLIVE again this year, also including a performance to camera by Jade Montserrat and accompanying discussion with Chandra Frank; Collective Works, a workshop by Critical Interruptions, and There is no Time, an online discussion with performingbordersLIVE20 artists and writers in residence (Àníké Bello, Jade FosterIstanbul Queer Art Collective, Jade Montserrat and The White Pube).


Watch Unbordering Documentation performingbordersLIVE20: full programme
Masculinism (2018). Image Credit, Orlando Myxx 'Masculinism' by Whiskey Chow. Image Credit, Orlando Myxx
A collage image of all the contributors and artists in the Unbordering programme. The image is green, as if overlayed with a filter, and across the centre is text that reads 'unbordering' in bright green font 'Unbordering' promotional image by Mida Design

performingborders | LIVE 2019

In 2019 performingbordersLIVE presented a programme of events and artist commissions that sought to bring urgent conversations and extraordinary artistic practices happening within the UK experimental live art sector around notions of cultural, juridical, racial, gendered, class, physical, and everyday borders outside of the online realm with a programme of offline gatherings.

LADA co-commissioned two works for camera: Borderline Dialogue by Tara Fatehi Irani, and Moebius Stripping by Istanbul Queer Art Collective.

Watch the commissions

LADA also supported two commissions, programmed through open  call, for digital conversations: All the Tea in China by Burong and Patrolling by Critical Interruptions.

LADA hosted Curating Borderless Spaces, a day of performances, commissioned premieres, talks, food, and provocations marking the culmination of the programme. Season Butler responded to the discussions and exchanges of the day through live writing and closed the event with a performative response to the day’s proceedings.

View documentation and information of the whole 'Curating Borderless Spaces'

PBLIVE19: further reading & watching

Run Riot: How Live Art is performing borders. Season Butler talks to curators Alessandra Cianetti and Xavier De Sousa.

Live Art UK: performingbordersLIVE | 2019

performingborders: Alessandra Cianetti & Xavier de Sousa on performingborders | LIVE 2019

Image from key note by Raju Rage for performingborders | LIVE19, Curating Borderless Spaces, Live Art Development Agency, October 2019
Still taken from MOEBIUS STRIPPING by Istanbul Queer Art Collective for performinborders | LIVE19, October 2019

Performing Borders: A Study Room Guide on physical and conceptual borders within Live Art (2016)

LADA commissioned performingborders curator Alessandra Cianetti to compile and write this Study Room Guide exploring the notion of the border in relation to Live Art and the works of experimental artists, with a special focus on the current European situation and its multiple crises, in 2016.

performingborders hosts ongoing audio resources generated by its programmes and initiatives on a dedicated soundcloud page. These resources, which are added to frequently, are relevant to the issues and practices explored by the guide.

Read 'Performing Borders'
Núria Güell, Apátrida por voluntad propia (Stateless by choice). Image courtesy of the artist.

Banner image credit:

performingborders logo. Image by Mida design.


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