Workshop of Performative Poetics: Booklet

Workshop of Performative Poetics: Booklet

Athens, Kypseli. 7, Evias Street. Multilingual Library “We Need Books.” April–December 2021. Ten people from different linguistic, gender, racial, and professional backgrounds. A workshop of performative poetics. Writing, reading, and translating as performance. Bodies and voices. A common rhythm. Sound improvisations. Oral archives: poems, songs, narratives. Words: in Swahili, Spanish, Farsi, Zulu, Arabic, French, Ethiopian, Cypriot. Gaps, ruptures between languages. Not knowing a language: not as a defect to-be-corrected, but as a possibility.

Triggers of this writing together: the poetic and political potential of our names; the iconography of our dreams; our daily city walks; songs, lullabies, dirges; selected words (such as: trajectory, stranger, displacement, unburied, nostalgia, sadness, sea, mourning, rage, home, exile, metoikos). Question-based poems. Collages of words and phrases in different languages and alphabets. Playing with plaster cubes: letters or words joined in various combinations.

Our main axis: the figure of Antigone, and its contemporary rewritings. The metoikos, “exiled both from the living and the dead.” And beyond Antigone, the lived experiences of our times: discrimination, racism, displacement. Borders; and border-crossing acts. Hierarchies of grief. Transnational mourning. Absence. Haunting returns of the dead.

The texts presented in this issue have been written and/or narrated during the workshop sessions. This publication preserves their oral form and puts them in dialogue with fragments from texts read throughout the workshop (namely notes form Sophocles’ Antigone, and Sara Uribe’s Antígona González).

Workshop participants and contributors: Antonis Antoniou, Ian Babu, Mohamad Belhedi, Marios Chatziprokopiou, Rinio Kyriazi, Sofia Orphanidou, Eliana Otta, Ribwar Qobadi, Emma Raibaut, Luis Eduardo Torres.

The artwork with the plaster cubes that figures in the photos has been created by visual artist Antonis Antoniou. Actress and director Rinio Kyriazi facilitated the vocal training throughout the workshop.

Marios Chatziprokopiou (concept, curating, coordination)