End of October/November 2017, I was invited to the Magdalena Segunda Generación Festival – Women Voices, in Argentina. Great enriching time, with wonderful women, some I already worked with in Denmark or met in previous Magdalena festivals and some new encounters!
I’d like to give a bit of context about the work done under the banner of #wecandobetter #podemoshacerlomejor.
These last 2 years, while advocating for refugees, I also learned a few techniques of bookbinding and origami. I adapted them into making sculpture books or “accordion books”. The book medium is fantastic for sparkling creative writing, talking about issues, and bringing people together. I decided to use it to make an installation performance, taking the Australian immigration policy of offshore processing and mandatory indefinite detention as a starting point. Questioning our empathy and acceptance of differences, it explores ways of opening up to others. The audience participate by holding the books, reading them, listening to stories and reflecting on their own thoughts. It encourages people to have direct agency and be proactive as citizens, with humanity and interests in the common good.
The original white accordion books were made during my residency in Germany. The Nauru files (2000+ daily reports / leaked documents published by the Guardian online) are printed on one side of the books, revealing abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in the offshore processing camp managed by Australia on the far away tiny Pacific island of Nauru, and on the other side, the Senate Enquiry Report confirms the revelations of the Nauru files. The unfolding books represent a metaphor of overflow of information submerging us, thousands of words describing the inhumane situation, which actually still didn’t change!
The books themselves are beautiful objects, but also agents for performances as they have their own way of moving. So, I’ve developed and tailored workshops for artists working with vulnerable people and for vulnerable people, in varied communities. I gave the first workshop in Denmark to women refugees, as part of Odin Teatret community engagement.
In Buenos Aires and Pinamar, we made new books and tackled local issues during the 3 workshops: women trafficking, people disappearance and catastrophes recuperated politically. We included these issues within the 2 performances presented one in Buenos Aires, the other in Pinamar, reworked in Spanish, with the collaboration of guest artists and workshops participants.
We created a Facebook group which keep us all informed of how the books are used by everyone, and also for exchanging ideas about how we further develop the workshops.
During the festival, I took part in a panel about networks, documented many performances and the last day parade, and also enjoyed participating in 3 workshops: polyphonic singing with French artists Brigitte Cirla and Eleonore Bovin, body rhythm with Ana Woolf and introduction to biomechanic bodywork with Teresa Zalazar.
#wecandobetter #podemoshacerlomejor performers: Suzon Fuks with Brigitte Cirla, Eleonore Bovon, Elisabet Maier, Laura D’Anna, Marie Tournemouly, Natalia Tesone, Veronica Moraga, Santiago Casal Buigues, & Viviane Santa Fe. Big thank you to Vanina Garabenta, a beautiful dynamic engaged and committed actress, who billeted me AND the whole organising team Ana Woolf, Giorgio Zamboni, Marcela Brito, Natalia Marcet, Sabrina Califano, Laura D’Anna, Natalia Tesone, as well as Luiza Bitencourt, Blanca Rizzo, Roxana Piño, Malén Videla González, Silvina Muzzanti and Yanina Frankel.
Below BUENOS AIRES DOCUMENTATION
Below PINAMAR DOCUMENTATION
Suzon Fuks has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.