A Back to Earth LIVE programme exploring transformation, queerness, the wild, the natural and the unnatural, as well as, decolonial, Indigenous and submerged perspectives.
Queer Earth and Liquid Matters brings together artists, writers, filmmakers, sound and architecture practitioners to explore decolonial and queer ecologies. Highlighting different voices and experiences of the climate emergency, the programme aims to complicate the binaries of Western knowledge often encountered in the environmental discourse. Specifically, Queer Earth and Liquid Matters sheds light on land and water struggles, foregrounds queer/trans Indigenous embodiment in the Global South and around the world. It explores visions and experiences of apocalypse and amplifies Indigenous refusal and outrage at the consequences of extractive capitalism. The two-day programme features talks, performances, films, poetry and more. Participants include Xavi Aguirre, Seba Calfuqueo, Adham Faramawy, Ash Fure, Macarena Gómez-Barris, Jacob V Joyce and Rudy Loewe, Jack Halberstam, Victoria Hunt, Bhanu Kapil, Juan Francisco Salazar, P. Staff, Bones Tan Jones, and multidisciplinary dance theatre company Wringing Metamorphosis.
Curated by Macarena Gómez-Barris, Jack Halberstam and Kostas Stasinopoulos.
Presented in collaboration with Stone Nest and Queercircle.
Stone Nest is an arts organisation and performance venue in the heart of London’s West End, bringing exceptional and experimental art to a wide audience. A hidden gem nestled amidst the bright lights of theatreland, it offers a platform for bold, visionary artists and a space where audiences can encounter an eclectic programme of contemporary performance.
QUEERCIRCLE is an LGBTQ+ led charity working at the intersection of arts, culture and social action. Through their holistic, community informed programmes, QUEERCIRCLE seeks to develop an ecology of artists, curators, writers, thinkers, community organisers, grassroots organisations and charities who collectively work together to strengthen links between arts, culture, health and wellbeing.
- Saturday 16 July, 2 - 8pm
Bones Tan Jones presents an operatic performance inspired by Glaucus atlanticus, the hermaphroditic blue sea dragons that float on oceanic currents, and their changing lives in the face of rising sea temperatures.
Ashley Joiner, Founder of Queercircle, in conversation with Kostas Stasinopoulos
Macarena Gómez-Barris presents SUR in Tension.This talk begins with Ursula Le Guin’s short story Sur, which rewrites the chronicles of male colonial exploration in the Global South. While Le Guin inverts gender tropes, Sur retains a focus on normative ways of describing geography, invokes the colonial gaze, and erases Indigenous presences and absences in the Deep South.
Gómez-Barris focuses on decolonising modes of thinking through queer South/South Indigenous relations. She describes art and cultural practices that dis-organise Western logics of seafaring, forms of being, and planetary dystopia. Gómez-Barris turns to the rivers, ice, fluidity, and sea edges as South/South cosmologies, analysing queer Indigenous Mapuche and Maori performance art.
Macarena Gómez-Barris in conversation with Kostas Stasinopoulos
Juan Fransciso Salazar presents his film Nightfall on Gaia, a speculative documentary that depicts the lives and visions of human communities living transiently in the Antarctic Peninsula. Grounded in the artist’s ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Antarctica between 2011 and 2014, the film is an experimental meditation on the future of the Antarctic as a newly extreme frontier for human habitation. As such, it exposes the complexities of a fragile planet at the verge of ecological collapse, our relationship to the ice and the uncertain future of the region.
Macarena Gómez-Barris in conversation with anthropologist and filmmaker Juan Fransciso Salazar and artist Victoria Hunt on decolonial ethnographic work, Indigenous epistemologies and diasporic concepts of identity formation and belonging (pre-recorded).
Artist Seba Calfuqueo approaches the vision and sound of a waterfall through the body in a newly commissioned performance. Using kaskawillas, a Mapuche instrument made of bronze, Calfuqueo imitates the sound of falling water. The performance draws on the Mapuche story of Copihue and Llancalahuen, two native plants that grew intertwined near humid areas of the forest. Narrated as incarnations of Mapuche bodies killed by the colonial process, these plants embody a resistance. Flowing like waterfalls approaches the power of water’s fluidity as a means to explore the body, gender, sexuality, and the relationship of water with life, forests and ecosystems.
- Sunday 17 July, 11am - 6pm
Performance and reading by poet and writer Bhanu Kapil in collaboration with multidisciplinary dance theatre company Wringing Metamorphosis
Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation with artists Seba Calfuqueo and Adham Faramawy
Jack Halberstam presents Unworldling, a talk that looks at experiments in art, literature and architecture that try to unbuild and bewilder rather than develop and enlighten. Unworldling explores a different language for engaging with nature – one that recognises how that which is wild escapes from human desires to classify and contain. The wild, almost by definition, is what lies beyond, outside and around the human. It cannot become part of the human nor can it be captured by the human but it can be registered as present through a series of aesthetic, political and scientific gestures that confirm its presence. Wildness, in this talk, and by extension, nature, inheres to entropy, gravity, the random, the accidental, the unpredictable, the violent, and the uncertain.
Jack Halberstam in conversation with Kostas Stasinopoulos
Screening of Acid Plumbing, a film by Xavi Aguirre and P. Staff
Jack Halberstam in conversation with architectural designer Xavi Aguirre
Sonic artist Ash Fure presents Interior Listening Protocol, a participatory listening score developed to instate liveness and spatially dynamic, embodied listening back into our increasingly technology-saturated moment.
Jack Halberstam in conversation with Ash Fure
Artist Adham Faramawy presents Daughters of the River, a new performance that incorporates dance, sound and spoken word. Drawing on history, mythology and fiction, Faramawy tells stories of the romances and toxicities of rivers and waterways.