Levels of being and Az Theatre now

As usual lots of things are happening at lots of levels in our lives.  Sometimes we are only conscious of a slim bandwidth of what we are actually going through.  I don’t want to imply deep is good and superficial is not so good.  In fact at times the surface everyday connects most vibrantly to the deep unconscious.  Parapraxes are what are most commonly offered in evidence of this.  But, as it were, inversely we can be fixed in the accomplishment of tasks and projects that have almost lost their meaning at an ordinary conscious rational level, but are driven by deep needs recognised at prior points in time.

These tasks are like sails thrown up to catch the wind from the boundlessness of unknowing, making significance in the sea of infinity.  The yearning for spatial definition and rootedness is strong.  How easy it is to forget that we must live on the edge of this delicious pain, the delight and terror of our mortality.

I am reading Jerry Brotton’s A History of the World in Twelve Maps which could make it look as if the primary task accompanying civilisation is map-making in the broadest sense.  How we are impelled collectively by boundlessness, by apeiron, is only partially understood by our subjective experience of the void that pushes at existence.  How we huddle together to better pretend that in the gaze of the multitude or in the embrace of the other there is a shore against the vast ocean of limitless time! And this only partly explains our tendency as creatures to turn these longings into oppressive political and social structures.  It’s as if there is a complicity between the oppressed and the oppressor, taken up in a dance of institutional power that gives to both a perfect blinker against the glare of the universe.

And the embrace in this dance is that of fear.  How social this particular emotion is can be felt in the reaction the fearful has to one who is more fearful.  Equally, of course, actually frightening (or terrorising) the other is a means of gaining security.  Thus these primordial triggers are aggregated and institutionalised, performed in orchestral arrays of oppression, ranging from a perfect suit, a winning speech to kettling protestors, to tear gas and baton charges

Perhaps freedom can never come or maybe it only comes in waves.  It is only by actualising our tenderness that the false promise of power, in its pretence of banishing fear by inculcating it, can be exposed to the withering light of humanisation.

Az Theatre launched its Gaza Opening Signs project at the Sackler Studio at The Globe on Saturday. This event, brilliantly put together by Jenny Bakst, was the perfect complement to the launch of the project at College Park School Westminster, equally brilliantly put together by Ciara Brennan and Caroline Moore a week or so earlier.  These women are the Gaza Opening Signs creative team. We are making a short ‘promo’ video, including a sequence in which the wonderful singers, Reem Kelani and Leon Rosselson together with, Theatre Signer, David Sands lead the audience in a rendition of Leon’s song ‘Song of the Olive Tree‘ where the chorus is sung and signed ensemble.

Next week Change Catalyst Agent, Debbie Warrener, will get together with Sara Asadullah and Marleen Bovenmars from Insightshare and me to plan the mappa mundi creative sessions which happen on 2nd, 3rd,4th November.  Yesterday I saw the perfect venue for this work and my fingers are firmly crossed.

Also we have had a really creative response to our mappa mundi project from a company who may turn out to be our technology provider partners.  I don’t want to jump the gun but Imano bring a really exciting array of talent and skills.

On Tuesday we had the Annual General Meeting of the People’s Palladium at which we agreed that the company should register with Companies House as ‘dormant’.  Jameal, who has recently been the creative mainstay of the company is going to New York, having been offered representation by an agent after his work this summer with the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.  A major blow to the development of The Peoples Palladium was the illness suffered by Shebul’s wife which meant that he was unable to join us earlier in the year.

A wonderful group of people have assembled around this company and it is a sleeping beauty, waiting for the prince.  Since 2006 Az has been working with colleagues from the Bengali community in the East End of London to create a unique company rooted in this community and open to creative people and influences from everywhere.

This is a snapshot of Az Theatre now at the end of September 2012.  Thank blog for reflective space!


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