How to create a hive: our first invitation

Invitation to join Cyber Anarcha Project:

Looking for long-distance participants

The Olimpias Performance Research Project runs a nation-wide residency series on black culture and disability culture issues.

This weekend, theatre artist Carrie Sandahl, dance artist Anita Gonzalez, musician Tiye Giraud, visual artist Lisa Steichmann and myself as a community performance artist get together to begin our ten-day Ann Arbor residency, after a previous visit (which also included Tabitha Chester) in Montgomery, Alabama.

In our residencies, we work with students at our host institutions, and also run outreach workshops. We use performance methods to address the memory of experimentation on slave women in Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1840s. Theatre, dance and community poetry make connections to public secrets, (women's) bodies, the persistence of pain, racialised medical histories, health care inequalities, and survival.

But I would like to involve people beyond our immediate group and participants, and I am aware of the barriers to participation.

I would like to invite you to work with us as cyber participants, thinking and writing of health, rac(ialisation), inequality, remembering pasts, remembering bodies in time.

If you chose to join us for this residency period, send me an email. I will send you a short and specific performance or writing exercise at the beginning of each day for a week, something that emerged out of our performance, dance, theatre and writing workshops the previous day. You will get a ten-minute instruction for each day of the next week, starting Saturday. I will also send you an essay introduction to the themes of Anarcha and to the issues that set this journey in motion.

You can respond in whatever way you like, to as few or as many instructions as you want, each day, or only once, send us something you already have, or send us something that isn't written, isn't recorded, or otherwise made material. We will gladly receive it all.

The resident artists will each day collect what we have been sent, read it together, and incorporate some of it into our workshops and script development. We will respond to you, too, with a short email, or with something we create towards the end of the week. At the end of the Anarcha Project, I will assemble some of these materials, visual documents, scripts and other traces of our work into a publication. I decided against using a blog for this wider embedment: this is writing as a gifting practice, and blogs seem too impersonal, and too immediately public for this.

We promise to honor your work, respect its privacy, keep it safe and yet take risks with it and in response. Please join us! Best, Petra