Yesterday we started our week long residency at Newbury 101.
There was a great deal of shared excitement about the group that have been brought together. Creative technology, activism, architecture, history, sound design, immersive experiences, movement and dance, song, spirituality, game design, accessibility- all these different angles coming together to test ideas for the show felt like a great decision.
Jesse Jones is facilitating the week, he started us off asking us what our culture is,- and to talk about what ever that question means to us. Where we come from, how we see our selves and what our identity is, what we believe in and where that has come from. How our lives have shaped us.
Belief became a strong word for the day. This project asks questions of the housing sector, a sector that makes some very rich and others homeless. Our housing system is rigged to create winners and losers and we are all tied up in the narrative, so asking what we believe in become a theme of the afternoon. We played a game taken from a Gob Squad show where we wrote statements we agree with and on reading them out, physically stood with or against the statement, this developed into ‘dancing for the statement’- ‘dancing for what you believe in’ and at points created a mass dance troop. Some statements were deep, and serious, others frivolous and fun. We all found ourselves dancing for ‘We own our own drills’ – 10 people all owning drills! It was a glorious moment.
We talked about where we live, and where we have lived, our status, our fears and concerns. We threw down ideas about what excited us with the project and what scared us. Late into the afternoon we made lists of problems and causes, possible interventions or games and hopeful ‘take homes’ for the audience. Having been ‘in this’ for a year or so, reading, writing, meeting and experimenting, I have gathered a huge amount of research. Today was the day to invite 9 other people into the process and hear what they had to say. I left feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, inspired and terrible excited about what this fantastic group of people might make together. Several times we said ‘yes, but do I have the right to….’ and actually, yes I think we do have the right, we have the right to publicly question what is wrong with the housing system and invite others to question it too.
Asking for one word each at the end of the day we can ‘co-operate, belief, complexity and…. ‘F*CK’