Not Dead Yet

2014 | performance & community-arts project | 120 minutes
 

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Performance in cooperation with filmmaker Mlungisi Nkala, with a total duration of approximately 120 minutes at the stairs of the World Trade Centre in Rotterdam.
 

Succeeding my earlier performance Being Human Anno 2012 (2012), I went on to investigate what happened with the ‘’members’’ of Occupy Rotterdam. To find out who they were, what they thought about their demonstrations back  in 2012, and whether they still held the same ideas, and whether they were still active as protesters.





 

The investigation let me to many meetings, meeting over 20 people, who all were still active as protesters, but were now all more focused on helping refugees and protesting the Dutch refugee policy. I visited these people at their home,s talking about their ideas. I accompanied them to a asylum centre (a prison building, now used as asylum centre nearby Rotterdam the Hague Airport, where many refugees have been awaiting the outcome of their asylum requests for a few years already). The former Occupy-ers  would visit the asylum centre every Saturday and brought banners (and would combine these trips with walking their dogs and socializing with each other) shouting telephone numbers of independent medical practitioners through megaphones, in order to support the people inside the centre.


The whole research was documented by filmmaker Mlungisi Nkala. Together we decided to turn the experiences into a performance, in order to make the protesters visible again. Preceding the performance, we organized a workshop for the protesters, meant to give them input on artistic concepts and strategies concerning protesting, to expand the impact of their demonstrations. After that, we made up a concept together for the final performance. We asked for municipal permission and received a letter with an approval, signed by mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb himself.
 

During the performance, three people from the crowd voluntarily requested to join the performance. A lot of pictures were made by the crowd and were later posted on social media.
At the end of the performance, the local chief of police passed by who is very fimiliar with the Occupyers that were participating in the performance. He commented that he was glad to see the protesters again and didn't agree on the way the Occupy camp was removed back in 2011.


I also created a Twitter account: #NDY2014 (Not Dead Yet 2014), where people who'd seen the performance, could continue the discussion with the members of Occupy on their purposes for demonstrating. And they did for approximately one week.




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