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Performance and Social Justice Collaborative, Daak/Call to Action, 2008-2009

The Performance and Social justice Collaborative continues its research on environmental racism and the trauma and resistance of communities of women of color across global North and South. In this second year, the collaborative will create and produce Daak, Call to Action, a performance project investigating land rights violations in Native communities in Minnesota, in the maquiladoras of Tijuana and Suarez, Mexico, and the “Special Economic Zones” of Nandigram, India. The collaborative will also launch the research for the culminating project of this series: Ashesh Barsha, Unending Monsoon, which brings together the research foci of the previous two projects with its focus on the horrifying impact of climate change. Working through an intersection of traditional scholarly research, and improvisation-based embodied knowing, the collaborative seeks to foreground multiple epistemologies in seeking understanding and sharing knowledge about huge issues in environmental justice and how they are affecting multiple communities of color. Working with bodies and movement to both investigate and produce knowledge, these projects will emphasize in particular the materiality of these struggles and the solutions being proposed, and of their historical documentation through performance, and suggest the multiple agential ways in which women of color are approaching issues of social justice. 

In what ways can artistic performance developed through community/university collaborations advance the struggle against racial and environmental injustice throughout the world?  In what ways can participation in an artistic performance community build creative energy, political awareness, and community activism among marginalized groups, particularly women of color? How can performance arts inform other academic disciplines and inquiries?

Conveners: Ananya Chatterjea (Theatre Arts and Dance, CLA), Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley (English, CLA), and Jigna Desai (Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, CLA).

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