In academia there is a constant expectation to justify your process and play with a substantial theory , proof and justification. I often find myself engrossed more in validating a thought, idea, opinion rather than exploring further and learning from making mistakes. This section of the web page is to articulate my mistakes, my insecurities about the project and also laugh at myself . To remind myself that passion is what inspired me to have this adventure!
If I had a penny for every time an artist spoke about identity! Many of the recent works that I have witnessed have had identity as an integral element. It has particularly been a favorite subject amidst South Asian choreographers. Something to do with political histories and the need for identity formation in today's world.
If the concept of identity is not evident in a piece work, there are academics extracting it out of it. It is walking a thin line between self introspection and self obsession. However, it is almost impossible to divorce the identity of the artist from his/her work. There is a fear of 'naval gazing' in this process, hoping transcend beyond it in the coming weeks.
Knowledge is a visitor-
Anything that stands the test of time, or anything that is codified and disseminated is a way of transporting an idea from one time and space to another. Would that make 'knowledge' as we know it ‘ a visitor’ or 'a traveller' ? If one looks at knowledge as memories, understandings and experiences,then these thought processes find their way into the future by transforming themselves as time travellers. ‘Any knowledge that survives invariably becomes a time-traveller’?
I have been investigating the concept of identity through different lenses. What does ‘I’ mean as a visitor or an outsider? I have visited this place(UK) for more than 6 years, acclimatized myself to the language and etiquette, adapted to its cold weather and updated myself through books,media, and internet and travel books what its history, heritage and culture is all about. I am still perceived by myself and the outside world as a visitor, a foreigner, a traveller, a tourist, a guest and an outsider. There is also a personal choice to not convert or belong to the city, is it a determined desire to stay unique or the loyalty towards a known past? The colour of my skin, the accent in my speech, the lack of make-up, my clothing and my attire are all signs of me being an alien. Being an outsider and an observer is part of my identity in the United Kingdom.
I look for meaning in new places through the signs and gestures that the people and the places display. My movements are hesitant, there is a lack of familiarity with the place, language, culture and prescribed pathways. I rely on gestures to communicate and comprehend the codes of the city. Discovering a new ‘self’ in a new place. Identity is a relative concept. When I call myself a foreigner, I also designate my roots to a different place- a place that I want to return to, a place of comfort and imagined permanence. This way 'I' allocate my'self' a context and also a point of perception.
This sense of being an outsider is not limited to geographical space. It is a feeling that haunts me back in India. When the thought processes and ideas do not find a place of residence, you become an outsider within the comforts of your own topographical space. It is a feeling that invades the terrestrial intimacies of the bodies and as a dancer I am more familiar with this sensation when an acquainted body language seems unnatural to the body. When the natural body refuses to dance, refuses to move or throws surprises of what it is capable of. It is when I bacome an observor of the self, looking at things the naked eye is unable to see.