November Chronicle by On Tradition - Future Ancestors 2: Rurality and Law participants
Future Ancestors began with a collective silent walk through the forest and into the dunes, venturing close to the law failing to be land; the Russia border. As our first shared encounter, some found it unsettling, others dizzying and others poignant and gentle. On our return, we shared our names, given by parents, friends or ourselves and their meanings; beginning a conversation on the relationship between language and the body, the law and the land. How the imagined language (law) impacts and shapes reality.
Pelumi > lead > MELODY+LYRICS+UNISON
Dylan > instruction > DRAWING BODY(IES)>CHOREOGRAPHY?
Christina > gaze > MICRO/MACRO+SCIENCE?
Iarlaith > care > ENGRAVING + POLITICS
Michael > inside-out > PIANO+STORYTELLING
Izaro > volcano > DIALOGUE+LINES+STRATEGIES
Nadja > steps > (RE)READING+(RE)VISITING>TOGETHER?
Adriana > lukewarm > RESEARCH + BORDERS + VOICE
Marilu > heart > WATER+GROUND+HORIZON
Liza > infinity > SOUND+80’S+TECHNOLOGY
Most days began with a movement / dance session which brought us together and brought us outside of ourselves. These were moments of joy, intimacy, letting go and sore muscles.
For the remainder of the COOP, our energy and thoughts were centred around a few short texts, connected by place (Paris) and concern throughout time. These texts were the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights 1789, The Needs of the Soul by Simone Weil and The Declaration of the Rights of Women, by Olympe de Gouges.
Through an initial discussion of the texts, the group honed in on the idea of complicity and responsibility. How rights and the laws they inform are based on responsibility and complicity to each other, and how this can feel a burden, a failure, or an unachievable goal. With complicity pinned in our minds, we were asked to share what we were complicit in and share that with the group in a recorded session.
Some fragments of what we shared:
The arquimedes theory says that; if you put a new object in a space, another one that was already there needs to go out. I’m wondering how this can work in my body. I'm fed up with these memories, that are not the best, are not interesting. I’m not learning anymore with it. So let's take out three objects and wait another's to enter my body.
Through this process of recording and sharing, it was raised that the rules of this engagement weren’t fully clear and made people feel unsure/unsafe, resulting in a renegotiation of the terms of the space. This rupture asked questions of purpose, care, power and access and demanded we establish terms of engagement and infrastructure.
From this place, we rejoined the space and presented rewritings under new conditions. Considering these conversations, we were invited to rewrite The Declarations of Human and Civic Rights, and share / record them together. These rewrites were tender, diplomatic, sung, biographical, fictional, unsaid, painful, and charged.
Here is a recording of singing in a made up language lead by Tèmítáyọ̀:
In this space, it was raised that these texts were written from a European, white positionality at a time of colonial expansion and oppression and the conditions in which these texts were written cannot be removed from that. That these rights have been forced upon the world and masquerade as universal, causing harm and violence and how the white people in the room had a responsibility to acknowledge and address this.
How do I face my ancestry?
notice the demons the tendencies the joys
invite the ghosts to play
play play play tweak move aiaiaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii let out some sounds and take some flowers on the way
and I left it there for me to see
as that what is written down holds particular power
that what is returned to holds particular power
remembering is alchemical strategy to stir the moment with
Through these raptures, negotiations, movements, of being asked to be responsible and complicit, we came to understand how we might use this space to critically digest difficult texts that form the foundations of this world and how we we might use this as a device to combat the narratives (laws) these texts have produced/reproduced and to begin to write our own.
Amber are the tears of Jurate, the Lithanian word for sea is Jura.
BACK TO INTRODUCTION: COOP study group ~ On Tradition - Future Ancestors 2: Rurality and Law.