On a student trip to Athens with Performance Design, I invited my teacher to improvise with me on Syntagma Square and my fellow students and teachers to participate with signs saying We are here for fun (May 2017).
The performance We are here for fun is based upon my thoughts about my role in Athens and in relation to the contemporary art exhibition Dokumenta14.
Before going to Athens, all I could think of was having fun and I looked forward just to experience some art. It did not strike me at all – the situation I have been seeing and hearing in the news – the refugee crisis – in Greece – in Athens – and Dokumenta highlighting this. And me… being a child of boat refugees.
Suddenly, I felt bad and I felt guilty and privileged that I could just go see some art that highlighted the worse humanitarian crisis since the 2nd World War and then go back to Denmark to my everyday life without leaving any traces in Athens.
But how do you know what traces to leave if you do not know where you came from? So, I traced back to my family background and the stories they have told me about their fleeing from one place to another. With this in mind and with inspiration from butoh – an art form that often depicts marginalized groups, I performed with my teacher on Syntagma Square on which we embodied pain, death and the mourning of loss.
Whether we left any traces or not in Athens, we will never know. But during the performance, a crow joined us for company.
Photos by Miriam Abigail Thalmay Brandt.
Video and stills by Lasse Mouritzen.
Lastly but not least, thanks to my teacher, Kristine Samson for performing with me.