Performing Statelessness

In 2018, the Statelessness Hallmark Research Initiative awarded Danny Butt (Fine Arts, University of Melbourne), myself, Tania Canas (RISE Refugees/cohealth Arts Gen/UoM) and Genevieve Grieves (Museums Victoria) seed funding in their first Projects Round for interdisciplinary research projects. Performing Statelessness considered the following questions: How is the condition of statelessness experienced and performed in everyday life? How do the ways stateless peoples collectively perform connect to or depart from normative aspirations to public participation in a settler-colonial democratic nation such as Australia? Are there opportunities for exploring how the conditions of statelessness experienced by Indigenous Australians and refugee and asylum-seeker communities can be comparatively articulated for the benefit of these communities? Using practice-led research methods informed by performance techniques, our pilot project staged a unique encounter between practicing artists who identify as having an asylum seeker, refugee and/or First Nation background, toward innovative interventions into culturally responsive methods in artistic research. We are grateful to Ajak Kwai, Ez Eldin Deng, Kate ten Buuren, Uncle Robert Bundle, Rubii Red, Ruth Nyaruot Ruach, Tasnim Sammak, Dianne Jones & wāni La Frere. A selection of participant reflections can be viewed at Arts Gen and a journal article is in press in a special issue of Global Performance Studies, Issue 5.1: “Decolonisation and Performance Studies”. Issue editors are: Dr. Nesreen N. Hussein (Middlesex University, London), Co-Editors: Dr. Kevin Brown (University of Missouri) and Dr. Felipe Cervera (LASALLE College of the Arts). Performing Statelessness: Creative Conversations between First Peoples and Refugees, Tania Cañas, Ruth De Souza, Genevieve Grieves, and Danny Butt.