MisplacedWomen?

Posts Tagged ‘Elena Marchevska’

The Displaced & Privilege: A Study Room Guide on Live Art in the Age of Hostility by Dr Elena Marchevska on Misplaced Women? + Errata Sheet

In London, Reviews, Workshops on January 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Within this study guide that we warmly recommend you may between others reed about the brother context in which the “Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojic has been produced, reflected a pone, distributed and publicised. With the “Misplaced Women?” project we pay special attention to credit everyone properly as far as possible. In that light I am pleased to share with you an Errata Sheet to The Displaced & Privilege: A Study Room Guide on Live Art in the Age of Hostility by Dr Elena Marchevska published by Live Arts Development Agency, LADA, London, in 2017, that may be download for free under this link.

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This is the ERRATA SHEET to the The Displaced & Privilege: A Study Room Guide on Live Art in the Age of Hostility by Elena Marchevska published by LADA, London (2017):

1) The drawings on the front and back cover and inside the guide by David Caines, have been mostly inspired by performances from Dagmara Bilon, Teresa Albor, Sophie Cero and Elena Marchevska developed in the frame of the ‘Misplaced Women?’ workshop led by Tanja Ostojić.

2) On page 1:

5. ‘Misplaced Women?’ workshop by Tanja Ostojić: documentation and participant’s responses

3) On page 3:

2. ‘Misplaced Women?’ Reflective Section, where you can find documentation of the workshop by Tanja Ostojić that I hosted with LADA in December 2016.

As part of the ‘Misplaced Women?’ workshops Tanja Ostojić encourages all participants to reflect in written form about their experience with the workshop, performances they developed and on the topic of the project, and she is publishing those voices regularly on the project blog. For this Study Guide, I selected from there and republished four responses to illustrate the outcomes of the workshop that she led.

For a full version of the responses and the reflection on the London iteration of the ‘Misplaced Women?’ project, please see the originally published material that has been edited by Tanja Ostojić and Danyel Ferrari:  https://misplacedwomen.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/misplaced-women-performance-workshop-in-lada-london/

4) On page 9:

For more information on Ostojić’s work please see her books:

Strategies of Success, ed. Tanja Ostojić, La Box Bourges and SKC Belgrade (2004), and

Integration Impossible?: The Politics of Migration in the Artwork of Tanja Ostojić, eds. Marina Gržinić and Tanja Ostojić, argobooks, Berlin (2009)

5) On page 65:

Note: These reflective articles were originally edited and published by Tanja Ostojić and Danyel Ferrari in January 2017, for ‘Misplaced Women?’ blog section dedicated to London’s workshop. You can see all the entries on the following link: https://misplacedwomen.wordpress.com/category/london/

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The end of the Errata Sheet.

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Drawing by David Caines of the performance by Teresa Albor in the frame of the “Misplaced Women?” performance art workshop by Tanja Ostojić in LADA, London, December 2016.

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Elena Marchevska holding the “Misplaced Women?” Sign at Heathrow Airport London, December 12, 2016.

In Airports, London, Signs, Stories on February 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm

Hospitality in times of displacement

It is a cold, grey December morning and I am on my way to pick up Tanja Ostojić from Heathrow airport. I am traveling on the Piccadilly line, half empty carriage, thinking about London and me. It wasn’t love at first sight, that is for sure. The first time I visited London was in 2005, just one week before 7/7, to do a performance as part of the exhibition Insomnia, an exhibition about experience of refugees and displaced individuals. It was a hot July week, the streets were filthy. Everywhere was incredibly busy and I felt that the city was a bit too much for me… I left relieved to be off to tour a show in rural France for three months and didn’t really think about coming back.

However, here I am, 12 years later, in London, again looking at displacement, at stories of migration and misplacement. This is a very critical and important moment for the UK, Europe and the world. Six months have passed since the Brexit vote, Trump has been elected as president of the USA and the world is a very hostile, inhospitable place for people on the move. Heathrow is flashy, clean, perfect, a haven for shoppers and travellers. I feel profoundly misplaced, leaning on the metal rail between taxi drivers and company chauffeurs, holding a handmade sign saying ‘Misplaced Women?’. Not a personal name on my sign, not a company logo, just a question. Do I wait for someone to come, or do I wait for my situation to be resolved?

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Elena Marchevska holding the “Misplaced Women?” sign at Heathrow Airport London, December 12, 2016. Photo: Tanja Ostojc

When I was developing the concept for my residency with Live Art Development Agency, my thoughts were constantly with the people in flux, those who were crossing or waiting at borders for days, sometimes months. Vivid memories of my childhood in war-torn Yugoslavia emerged. I remembered my school friends who were refugees from Sarajevo; my work in refugee camps during the Kosovo crisis; the lines for bread and milk; cars left without petrol in the middle of the road. More than 20 years has passed, but my body clearly remembers the fear, and at the same time the braveness, the openness to share, to give, to be there for one another. Many people opened their homes to refugees and family displaced due to war, despite being impoverished and affected by the war themselves.

It is important to discuss displacement along hospitality. Derrida introduces hospitality as a radical concept that offers alternative ways to treat others. His central argument is based on the ‘aporia of hospitality’, which, according to Derrida, has two main elements: one of owning and being empowered by that ownership, and another of giving ownership away and being vulnerable. I thought that it would be an important part of my research and creative journey to host an artist, someone with a similar history to myself, and to open a creative dialogue about hospitality and displacement. Tanja Ostojic’s project ‘Misplaced Women?’ was a natural choice.

The project works with the Derrida’s aporia. Tanja hosts a safe space that allows her workshop participants to open up and share their experiences. It also requires that they present their ideas immediately, by performing them in a public space. This brings us back to Derrida’s discussion of the etymology of the term ‘hospitality’, which is related to hostility, since the root hospes is allied to the root hostis, which interestingly means both ‘stranger’ and ‘enemy’. Thus, hospitality, as in hostilis (stranger/enemy) + potes (having power), originally meant the power that the host has over the stranger/enemy. And indeed we see the hospitality of Western European societies being defined by imposing power over the ‘strangers’, defining them by impossible standards, borders are re-erected, walls are rebuild, communities are ostracised.

According to Irina Arishtarkova, hospitality is a radical relation, especially when compared with tolerance: it provides a framework to account for the treatment of others with limitless attention and expectation, and it entails an active gesture of welcoming, greeting, sheltering, and in many cases, nourishing. Tanja Ostojić operates within this framework, opening a hospitable space during her performance workshops.  Participants are welcomed and guided, acknowledged and their ideas are nourished. Anecdotes are shared, objects are transformed, pictures are circulated. During the two days of the workshop, I felt that we tapped into each other’s experiences of displacement and loss. Hospitality became performative, it was about slow decision making, about the labour of hosting others, and the handling of unexpected outcomes. There was a willingness to contain and to produce space for the Other out of one’s own flesh and blood, we all walked together by the canal, performers and audience at the same time. The days melted into one long discussion about what displacement means today. For me, the small acts of hope and care that each participant made created a ripple strong enough to go beyond the current climate of hostility.

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Bibliography:

ARISTARKHOVA, I. (2012). Hospitality of the matrix: philosophy, biomedicine, and culture. New York, Columbia University Press.

DERRIDA, J., & DUFOURMANTELLE, A. (2000). Of hospitality. Stanford, Calif, Stanford University Press.

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Elana Marchevska is London Based Artist and educator of Macedonian origin.

http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/opportunities/open-call-for-participants-for-misplaced-women-workshop

http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/whats-on/misplaced-women/

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