I wanted to take a moment to direct your attention to a project we are doing at the festival this year called: The Foreign Exchange. This work is a piece originated as a desire to respond to a video that I released as a marketing tool for the festival last year. The video upset some members of the community, in particular, members from the first nations community–and despite what I thought was an intent to speak towards the question of ignorance–I ultimately fell victim to my own by not recognizing how the video could be offensive to some.
This was a difficult lesson, but tremendously valuable. I had no choice but to confront my own personal experience of race, culture and representation, and how it may differ from others. Furthermore, it was then my responsibility to take action in the form of an apology, in the name of healing, learning, understanding and transformation.
And now, one year later, as this continues, and together with New Harlem Productions, we are presenting THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE. The impulse for this came from my sincere interest/question in exploring ways we, in this community/this city/this world, with all our different perceptions, cultural differences, emotional psychologies, etc. may put ourselves on the line with each other, exploring what it is we don’t know, to learn more about what we can. Is it possible to have to sit down together and have a conversation about race and culture from perspectives beyond our own–warts and all–feel passion–hatred–love–etc, and remain together–work together–help each with learning. With understand. With good intention, despite what we may not know, we thrust ourselves into this project in the hopes of learning more about what we don’t know, and move deeper into understanding.
I really hope you’ll join us on one of the four days we are doing this.
The Foreign Exchange
by the Ministry of Foreign Exchange
Featuring: Nisha Ahuja, Cole J Alvis, Falen Johnson, Michael Rubenfeld, Nawa Nicole Simon, DM St. Bernard
Design and Technology by: Keith Barker, Isidra Cruz
What if you could ask anybody anything about their race or culture, no matter what the question was?
What if you could say, ask, or do the wrong thing, and have that somehow be okay?
We think we can, and we’re going to try to prove it.
In The Foreign exchange, six candid conversationalists bring you a live, unedited, unrehearsed and very direct look at our mutual otherness by bringing ignorance, intelligence and hearts to the table.
Refreshments will be served.
August 10th 7:00 PM
August 11th 4:30 PM
August 12th 7:00 PM
August 15th 2:00 PM
More info here:
All at The Lower Ossington Theatre. 100A Ossington Avenue