Performing Embodied Oralities in the Americas

Performing Embodied Oralities in the Americas

On December 14-15th 2015, Emilie Monnet and Waira Nina were invited to participate in the Performing Embodied Oralities in the Americas working group, in Bogota Colombia. Together, they presented the history of their ongoing collaboration and the artistic process behind the creation of Nigamon/Tunai.

This gathering of scholars, artists and activists explored the multiplicity of oral practices in the Americas, giving attention to the performative aspects of testimony, storytelling, word circles and other forms of verbal exchange in different contexts including Indigenous and Afroamerican communities, those living with disability, and those affected by mass violence.

The working group addressed various questions: What are the critical issues in relation to our methods and ethics of engaging with oral practices—such as questions of community ownership, protocols, embodied difference, literate biases, contentious dialogues and even fundamental questions about the nature of oral stories? How does orality itself employ or enable particular sets of practices in relation to memory, identity, sovereignty and political engagement? What knowledge and possibilities do oral practices offer for liberatory movements, peace-building and indigenizing?

The sessions were hosted by the National University of Colombia and the National Centre for Historical Memory.