Artists Works in Progress
Nara Heemann: Concept/direction
"THREAD / FIO / HILO
At the IIIrd Annual Seminar
Performance and Politics in the Americas the team will be creating and
presenting Thread / Fio / Hilo.
Many of the elderly women today
in Brazil didn't have a formal profession. They belong to a generation
of women who worked for the well being of the family. And still today
this kind of job is not validated in the same way as others. For some,
these women are not eligible to speak, because of that status gap, because
of their age. Many of them have been excluded from their family's live,
a tragedy so common nowadays, which does not only affect these women:
the younger members don't know what came before them. Life's histories
remain hidden, and behind them, lays a huge treasure of experiences on
migration, languages, "crossculturality", and on being forgotten
as a holder of cultural knowledge.
My grandmother sung that to me, smiling out of her pain from a broken hip, excusing herself for the "broken voice", trying to explain both in Portuguese and German the joy she had as a little child, whenever "you could feel the rain coming soon, and the cows and her 'little babies' would come down the hill, rushing to find protection!" She was born in the south of Brazil, her family living in a German community and growing up speaking different German dialects and Portuguese. She had almost no access to school. Today her memories of a life lived in poor conditions in the country side seem lost in the city where her children and grandchildren became all "studied people" who rush from one appointment to another. The richness of her crosscultural experiences, of her perception of nature, of her artistic abilities, switching from singing to explaining with gestures and mimicry, weaving rugs and stories remains an unknown treasure even to her.
During seven days the Hysterikós team will be developing with elderly women living in Lima a theatrical presentation as part of a long-term series of artistic works: Hysterikós - from womb to womb.
Hysterikós - Greek,
"related to the womb".
Hysterikós - from womb
to womb will be taking place throughout 2002 and 2003 in different forms.
Interviews with elderly ladies, some of them living in poor nursing homes
from Brazil, are going to serve as the basis for several performances
with/about them, about their stories and histories. It is planned a series
of story telling done by "grannies" at the City Market of Curitiba.
March 2002 Nara Heemann has performed "Performance Matemática
Fluxo" at the International Theatre Festival of Curitiba. In 2003
it is intended an intensive workshop, where younger women with different
working experiences and cultural backgrounds will develop a theatrical
work based on the material collected throughout 2002.
Seven days to weave a story.
With this work we will be asking:
Who is eligible to be on stage? Who has the proper qualifications to take part in an international performance seminar? May "non-artists" use the theatrical space without being identified as amateur? May old people say something about globalization? May "non-scholars" explain something about cultural identities? Is not the very embodyment of old age and its presence in the public sphere nowadays activism?