Prieska Performance

Collaboration with Im Tae-Hong, 2018, at The International Residency, Espace Rhizome, South Korea

In this performance piece I explored the complexities around tradition, identity and political structures of my core family. My grandparents have always been racist - this was bred and drilled into them. At some point when I was a young girl I started noticing and understanding their problematic way of thinking. The icons of family, protection and love in my life were saying things and acting in ways with which I deeply disagreed. And in this uprooting discord, our very close relationship dissolved for me into a sobering coming of age. 

This violence spoken of here (in a larger context) is rarely physical violence, but subtle gestures, private thoughts and backwards remarks that underpin many social, professional and private interactions in Post-Apartheid South Africa. This backwards discriminatory thinking is what, along with other factors, feeds the race division in the "New South Africa". 

Investigating the often involuted relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, ‘Prieska’ aims to highlight this omnipresent underlying violence experienced when visiting racist Afrikaner relatives. The influences of Afrikaner ideals, as subtly and often openly expressed by my grandparents are, almost obsessively so, unraveled and examined by jumping between forgotten and remembered pasts, current encounters and future intentions and anxieties. In this strange performance of recollection, enactment and magic, hopeful possibility meets the disillusioned child lost to the irreconcilable relationships with living and dead loved ones. 

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