Dancing Through the Diaspora

Dancing Through the Diaspora was rehearsed and performed during lockdown from May to June 2020. When the government in California issued a stay at home mandate, I focused on gathering people within my friend network who are based in North America. Disorientation during the pandemic was not the only reason to gather. This was particularly painful for those of us who celebrate Norouz, the New Year for Iranians, people of Afghan heritage and Parsis. Discriminatory legislation, such as the Travel Ban executed by the Trump Administration, left many of us with increased anxiety and anger. Would it ever be possible to travel and be with our loved ones again? My ambition was to precisely and concretely narrate collectively how categories of nationality break the psychic body, especially for members of diasporic communities.

Feelings of distress that intensified at the start of pandemic escalated after the murder of George Floyd. Since participating in the Black Lives Matter protests was not an option for those of us who are or were living with immunocompromised conditions, shaping the project within the context of a public demonstration that was physically and psychologically safe became a priority. To maintain sustained connection during a period of isolation and societal division, dismantling categories of gender, sexual, and ethnicity through an explicit, uniform movement sequences evoked another way to view how normative forms of identification can be resisted and subverted. 

The final version of the collective script with translations in Danish, Farsi, Hindi, German, French, and Portugueses, and English can be viewed here.


Thanks to Francisco Eme of The FRONT Arte Cultura for promoting the project on July, 4th 2020. 


On the screen, I see myself there where I was, once in a physical space that opened up a place inside; I am there and here. What is worse than loneliness? There is light behind us and there is light in front of us. Now that you are with me, our shadows guide us through where we may travel.

Adapted from Michel Foucault’s Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias