Created by Elena Marchevska, Syowia Kyambi, Seb Aguirre and Carolyn Defrin
Commissioned by LADA/performingborders
Reflective writing, photography and video build this open-ended assemblage of our digital discussions from June-September 2020. Examining our own migratory patterns between Europe, North and South America and Africa we present a riot of short reflections on lived, precarious, migrant experience patched onto bigger discussions of feminism and care.
**The title of the discussion 'Third nature,' we borrow from Anna Tsing. She argues that the term 'first nature' is based on established ecological relations (including humans) and 'second nature' refers to capitalist transformations of the environment. However, when she talks about ‘third nature’, she addresses the entities that manage to live despite capitalism. To even notice third nature, Tsing says, we must evade assumptions that the future is that singular direction ahead.
Visit performingborders to view the commission in its original context.
To Tend Dark Soil *
The amber waves are now ablaze
Burning an orange apocalypse of carelessness
Lighting up a homeland
So far away
From the home I remember growing up in.
Broken bodies, broken lands, broken country.
And yet you are my home.
You call me, long distance
Ringing through an ocean:
‘How will you tend from so far away?’
Roots that reach across a century of movement
From Europe to a United States to a United Kingdom
Echo so many false promises of union.
I walk through British countryside lanes.
More walks in more months of the pandemic.
I’m out looking for mushrooms growing in upturned trees
(inspired by Anna Tsing’s Matsuki mushroom that grew
in the ashen aftermath of Hiroshima)
Instead I find a child’s truck parked in the crevices of an up-turned tree stump–
A toy reminder of man’s persistent yearning to control and drive over, extract and profit.
Or perhaps a symbiotic hug?
Uprooted, both truck and tree hold tight to one another for now.
The America I am watching through phone and laptop portals
is one that has forgotten the land
Forgotten its entanglements and a balance of power
The blood of injustice spilling relentlessly an infertile poison
I think of my grandparents making their way by boats across the Atlantic to the US,
Entering through the pearly gates of Ellis Island in the early part of the 20th century.
What would they think now?
How would they rise up with the soil that comforts their long-ago bones
and whisper or RAGE:
‘We’ve been here before
In the wipe out,
in the weary wild game of human control.
Let the earth speak
Then sing back and let your hands sink deep
*published in forthcoming article: "Third Nature
Embodiment of borders and thinking beyond: Surviving despite capitalism" by Dr. Elena Marchevska and Dr. Carolyn Defrin for the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices
How to Detonate*
Make a plan
Break the earth that you
or someone else thought was firm, secure, pleasurable, strong,
good for holding
Break it really well-
Split it, crack it, smash it, detonate it, explode it into a million pieces
Then let the dust and innards and wires and guts come flying out
So that it’s impossible not to see it, deal with it, eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner
So that there is no way to put it back together the same way
So that it hurts
So that it cuts deep down hard hardly there anymore and only stringy particles and atoms of breath offer
How to Heal*
If you want to do it right
Black blood takes times to rise to the surface, to lift the old and grow new cells
But you can get a bandaid right away
Something to hold it all in --keep it from spilling out
This can be made of cotton and sticky things
Care and glue
Soft and adhesive
Don’t be afraid to be cohesive with other things and people that are similar but not the same
Take your time
Give your time
Look at something/someone new
Lie down and look again, but from a different moment
Kiss your shoulders or let your shoulders kiss you
*featured in the digital film