Thursday, May 26, 2016

Faki Day 2: Human Trafficking, Creative Class, and 'Civilisation by Proxy'

It's morning at Faki on Day 3, and the festival settles into a familiar rhythm: healthy vegetarian lunches, random happenings and events, somehow a lot of pressure, and at the same time, none. Violence hangs in the air as a kind of general idea along with the sounds of punk metal until 5am, ever-present, acknowledged, discussed - and importantly, never, ever acted upon.

Day 2’s performances were characterised by a more direct contact with contemporary politics and propaganda, as opposed to the shock of yesterday. The neo-Marxist Sketches of Freedom kicked things off, complete with unscheduled stage intruder, followed by Dutch/Malaysian collaboration Can’t See Through Your Eyes and the intriguing The More You Dance the More You Get, a metaphor for people trafficking. Norwegian Terrorist/Capitalist/Christian cult music theatre project U-DUB was the entry for oddest but potentially most avant-garde work of the festival, whilst Japanese dancer Kazuyo Shionoiri’s meditation on death was an intensely personal communion. 

Today’s casualties in terms of criticism are both performers of Emptiness/Fullness and Can’t See Through Your Eyes - being dance performances which I read as not engage a discourse outside of their own logic - not the fault of the works by any stretch, but I am just lacking the tools to dissect such work in a useful way.

I am holding up ok, by the way. I think we all are.

Sketches of Freedom

The term ‘Creative Class’ is used to describe the demographic of young people who are characterised by a particular type of exploitation. Working mostly in culture and tech (or combinations thereof), they spend their time floating from unpaid internship to short-term freelance gig, never enjoying fundamental rights or government support, appropriating/hijacking infrastructure where they can, and scavenging from the edges of societies. A particular type of oppressed, they will never enjoy wealth, and conversely, are powerful influences in symbolically shaping cultures and politics (referred to as ‘change makers’).