Editorial Collective – Vol. 3

Our editorial collective evolves with each volume, inviting a rotating collaboration of agitators. To learn about the editorial collective active during the development of Volume 3, please see below. To learn about our current editorial collective, please visit our “About Us” page.  Emina Bužinkić Emina explores barefoot the intersections of refuge-ness, racist and classist formations, education-scapes, and political resistances in solidarity. Her work revolves around the critical understanding of border regimes through interplay of the police violence and refugees’ resistance to restrictions of freedom of movement. Emina’s research focuses on the inscriptions of regimes of criminalization of refugee youth in schooling…

There’s Something in the Water

Tia-Simone Gardner Chapter None In her book A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, Kathryn Yussof (2018) describes a thick relationship between extractive capitalism, geologic time, and (anti)Blackness. She writes, “As the Anthropocene proclaims the language of species life – Anthropos – through a universalist geologic commons, it neatly erases histories of racism that were incubated through the regulatory structure of geologic relations. The racial categorization of Blackness shares its natality with mining the New World, as does the material impetus for colonialism in the first instance.”1 When I began this project, I was stuck on this question of the natal….

Unlearning and Relearning the Self and Other: The Pedagogical Potential of Stories in the Classroom

Unlearning and Relearning the Self and Other: The Pedagogical Potential of Stories in the Classroom

Esmae Heveron All politics are politics of storytelling. Stories shape our sense of self: who we believe we are, our sense of our own inherited privileges and misfortunes, our affinities, identifications, and allegiances. Stories also shape what we wish or hope to do in order to give our existence meaning: whom we want to stand or fight with, whom or what we want to help or rescue in order to uphold what we think is ethical or just. This is a basic truth when thinking about the ethical and the political in relation to ‘global politics.’ It allows us to…

Telling Dis/Appearing Tales: Re-membering, Re-calling, Re-wor(l)ding

Telling Dis/Appearing Tales: Re-membering, Re-calling, Re-wor(l)ding

Sara J. Musaifer, Maria C. Schwedhelm, and Richa Nagar Preface In Spring 2017, the three of us became part of a semester-long journey through ‘Stories, Bodies, Movements’, a course co-facilitated by one of us (Richa) with Tarun Kumar, a visiting theater artist from Mumbai who joined us at the University of Minnesota. Two of us (Maria and Sara) enrolled in the class for credit, even as the course blurred the borders between facilitator, instructor, and student. ‘Stories, Bodies, Movements’ focused on learning through embodied doing and feeling. Specifically, it centered on grappling with the labor of building situated solidarities through…

Vellai Mozhi

Vellai Mozhi

A. Mangai, A. Revathi, and Marappachi Theatre We live in a time when conflict and destruction are no longer the exception but the norm. It may be natural disasters or conflicts created by State and non-state institutions and individuals. It often feels like a dark cloud is looming over us. However, those of us who have chosen to live with the purpose of changing the world to the best of our ability always see a silver lining to these clouds. That could be a song that expresses deep sadness and thus helps with healing; it could be a slogan that…

Kaatru

Tamilarasi Anadavalli, A. Mangai, and Marappachi Theatre On June 7, 2020, a show rehearsed completely through Zoom was presented by Tamilarasi, a theatre student at the National School of Drama and a member of Marappachi. A video of this performance is shown below. The performance features a 20th Century poem by Bharathiyar (a modern poet in Tamil) titled Kaatru (Wind). A call to strengthen our houses, roofs, doors, body, mind, and emotion to let the wind befriend you comes through as a clarion call to positivity and compassion in the context of migrant worker struggles and the impunity of the State…

“In the Dark Times, Will There Also be Singing?”

The process of making a political play online and its effects IRL (In Real Life) Ponni Arasu and Marappachi Theatre One day, during our weekly COVID-time Zoom meetings of Tamil speaking theatre folks, we tried to sing the chorus to a song together. I remember this vivid feeling of hopelessness as, after trying a few times, we realized that it isn’t possible to sing in unison over Zoom. For me, the weekly calls helped me to hold on dearly to my beloved theatre during this time and to reshape it. I had to heed the call to not give in…

Waháŋpi!

Agléška Cohen-Rencountre (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe) Red skies erupt as the sun escapes prying eyes. Glass lake surface distorts the shape of the canoes upon them from top down views. Vagina shaped vessels pulsing between the pressures of the lake and sky. Fish glance jump to spot who are the stewards of the birchbark cloud in their midst. Black fur covered land loving bullfrog? Oh yes. It’s a rez dog, knows her way around a canoe because the manoomin is ready to harvest. Customary knocking sticks in paw. Nothing unusual on this dreamy day to her at all – let…

Fracturing Threads, Again

Fracturing Threads, Again

Keavy McFadden Opening Over two years after the formal close of my own participation in the course, I sit at my desk pouring over the material documents produced by the multiple iterations of Stories, Bodies, Movements, attempting to think about what my own contribution to this volume might look like. In returning to the course in the context of AGITATE!, I seek not to preserve the journey or archive the experience but rather to think about what it means politically, theoretically, conceptually to revisit and extend the work at the heart of Stories, Bodies, Movements. What is the afterlife of…

Baggage

Baggage

By Setareh Ghoreishi Transforming Life born            grown                       torn                                  turnstomach churn                        body and baggage                                             in a neat package                                  boxed                       entrappedswapping one for another pact                                  dreams                                             cracked                                                        containers                                                                   drilled and fracked                                                        hacked                                                          freedoms            care for a threesome?here she comes!            twisting tongues                        dwelling in duality                                                warping reality                                                                        kneeling under a pomegranate tree               منّت خدای را عز و جل که طاعتش موجب قربتست و به شکر اندرش مزید نعمت هر…

La Règle Des Trois Unités

Beaudelaine Pierre unité de temps And the students saidin their surreal utopian worldthere will be no currencyno one will be put to work to live andcontaining students between walls toturn them into docile citizens will be punishedthere will be a reorder of genderwalls and lands andthe young will choose their learning in alignment with their calling in alignment with their vision in alignment with community needs andthere will be no prisonsno demokrasi pépéonly witches and mad womento govern the cityall times made equal Covid dix-neuf pourl’an deux mille vingtschools’ doors are closedno one goes to workgrocery shelves are down andmy neighbor…

Dreams as R-evolution

Dreams as R-evolution

Coral Bijoux When you want to enslave a people,You steal the ability to dream.And when you want to enslave a people,You destroy the ability to dream.And still, when you want slaves,The master has to remember his place.And the slave, hers.And the slave, his.And when you want to enslave a people,You introduce a fear that is embedded in our darkest hours.1 As the sun sets on Seats of Authority, while Ancestor hovers in the background of past lives and past transformations, I reflect on the decolonial subject and its critical posturing. Art making, natural elements, and the metaphor of collapsed seats…

The Labor of Political Theatre as Embodied Politics: A Conversation

Richa Nagar and Anna Selmeczi Cape Town 29 August 2018 Dear Richa, It’s been so very long since you so generously shared with me an early version of Hungry Translations: Relearning the World Through Radical Vulnerability (Nagar  in journeys with Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and Parakh Theatre, 2019), a manuscript that, in less than a year, had grown into a book from the chapter that you drafted for our volume a few years ago now. So much has happened to us and our book projects since, and now, dreading that I might be too late, I would like to take…

A Letter to the Stories, Bodies, Movements Team

Surafel Wondimu Abebe To the Stories, Bodies, Movements team, It was a great pleasure and honor to watch Fractured Threads tonight. Indeed, your performance is a “patchwork of reflections.” It brings together incongruous yet related stories of everyday life. You also redefined performance as a critical act of making patchwork together. Your performance does/performs so many things at once. Portraying neither a protagonist nor an antagonist, Fractured Threads allowed me to refrain from identifying myself or claiming sameness with any of the characters but to understand myself as a person with a fractured being who is always in the process…

Between Academic Time And Crisis Time: A Conversation With Mona Bhan And Celina Su

Mona Bhan and Celina Su August 2020 So much has happened since we met for the first time via Zoom in early May 2020. On a hot summer afternoon in August 2020, we met via Zoom again, spending two hours thinking through the interview questions presented by the AGITATE! Team. We took turns answering each question; each time, we excitedly pointed out joint commitments and overlaps in our responses. This did not feel forced at all. We then spent a few minutes jotting down our verbal notes in writing. Although we each came back to our written notes to proofread them for…

Telling Dis/Appearing Tales (Script and Performance)

‘Stories, Bodies, Movements’ Class (Spring 2017) Suggested citation:Stories, Bodies, Movements’ Class, Spring 2017. 2021. “Weaving Stories Through Our Bodies (I): Telling Dis/Appearing Tales.” AGITATE! 3: https://agitatejournal.org/article/weaving-stories-through-our-bodies-i-telling-dis-appearing-tales/.

Fractured Threads (Script)

Stories, Bodies, Movements Class (Fall 2017) Suggested citation:‘Stories, Bodies, Movements’ Class, Fall 2017. 2021. “Weaving Stories Through Our Bodies (II): Fractured Threads.” AGITATE! 3: https://agitatejournal.org/article/weaving-stories-through-our-bodies-ii-fractured-threads/.

Apertures

Ritika Ganguly and Alia Jeraj Apertures: A creative portrayal of domestic violence for SEWA-AIFW is a bricolage of stories and art forms. It draws on a variety of artistic disciplines to represent a spectrum of lived experiences of domestic violence in our societies, and the specter of patriarchy that shapes them. It tells four survivor stories from Minnesota through the lens of survivor stories in New Delhi and Chennai. The poems that represent these stories are fictionalized tellings of the poets’ own experiences of the routineness of violence in the structure of caste as practiced in India and within the…