Confessions of a M@ssKara

Collaborative Workshop & Public Performance with Stay Wild Moon Child (Bacolod, Philippines) 2019

"Confessions of a M@sskara“ is a performance-in-process applying auto-ethnographic & collaborative approaches to cultural re-search of dance & movement as community healing arts. In collaboration with Stay Wild Moon Child, developed over a two-day ‘eMotion Archives’ workshop in Bacolod, Negros, the site-specific performance outside Orange Project gallery featured a group movement score based on somatic-led inquiry, video art projection, temporary altar installation & participatory fluxus instructions inviting the audience to interact with these elements. The video projection borrows found images from Bacolod’s infamous street dance spectacle, Masskara Festival of “smiling faces,” illuminating the cultural arts landscape in which private emotional states live behind public masks of mass happiness.
Referencing Yukio Mishima’s novel “Confessions of a Mask,” the mode of diary storytelling is adopted to reveal the performances of the everyday, where control of conflicting emotions is coded & experienced as gender & sexuality. Excerpts from my fieldwork diary during the festival & public confessions from community survivors of sexual violence (posted on She/Her/I’s #DearDiary) are re-read aloud as parallel inner worlds processing experiences of emotional turmoil through speech text. Happening within purview of cultural spectacle performing colorful fantasies of masked happiness, becoming in/visible in degrees of opacity, transparency & accountability, plural confessional voices come to speak on one’s agency to tell their own stories behind the seen, requiring deep listening. Suspended in ritual intimacy of expressive acts calling for affective attention & communal care, the cultural context of performance, dance & movement is intentionally looped in “Confessions of a Masskara” to promote reparative relations to embodied archives for personal & collective transformation.

VIEW full video on vimeo

BIG THANKS & DAGHANG SALAMAT to Stay Wild Moon Child (led by @inahdaze), participants of eMotion Archives workshop hosted at Figure 8 Dance Studio on March 28 & 29, 2019 (Raffy, Rosabet, Zana, Inah, Darla, Geli), & She/Her/I's #DearDiary, providing a platform in Bacolod to share stories from survivors of sexual violence. Thanks Manny Montelibano for audio/visual set-up & support to perform in front of Project Orange.

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