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Bodies in Dissent

Master's Theatre Practice, ArtEZ, Arnhem, Feb 3-14, 2020

“Bodies in Dissent” is a cut-up text based on spoken words that emerged during the workshop processes of  VestAndPage's intensive at ArtEZ Master's Theatre Practice. The text encompasses the contribution of Dr. Pavlos Kountouriotis, Fenia Kotsopoulou, Daz Disley, Irina Baldini, Emily Welther, Barbara Lehtna, Luiza Jaffe Barbosa, Foivi Psevdou, Erifyli Drakopoulou, Antrianna Moutoula, Anushka Nair, Korina Papadimitriou, Ella Tighe, and Jessica Renfro. A selection from the multitude of words that arouse during discussions around the topics of dissent, transgression, abjection,  nudity and nakedness, queerness, camp, home and other, have been collected, written down and finally arranged by VestAndPage into a one-voice-poetry. In this resulting collective poem authorship is deluded, as the single voice eventually complements the other, to give shape to a text in which all –apparently disconnected– parts fall together into a whole.

Can we talk about this?

How to be in between

How to be less precious

How to see what it holds

the place we haven’t yet gone to.

How to just go to the other side and see

— el otro lado —

transgression law justice

prompt to upset

doctrinal truths.

It’s too safe for us to learn —

Can we talk about this?

Can we talk about this:

Influence, power, the conditions.

What is the question to the response?

Who can transgress what, and when?

Who decides what, and when?

Extend the hierarchies, the social contract.

Stay longer, work deeper —

Tiny revolutions are born to fail.

We are estranged, and we need to react.

Rights come in conflict with powers, principles, and values.

We face the consequences.

You came. I owe you.

Can we talk about this? Can we talk about this:

How to gain agency. How to take a position.

The state of imagination. Ownership.

Awareness of the gaze: it needs an act of special care

to turn the apparently invisible visible.

We transgressed walls. We discovered the walls.

We are afraid of being afraid. Static. So much.

The body changes and choices change.

Little things. And freedom.

Speculation — this is our condition.

What we choose to do never happened.

It pretends to be nothing, but it still is something.

Something. Nothing. It is ways to go to places.

How can we go there?

Equally invalid — the seeing without being seen:

Each other. Respect. Approach. Care. Touch. Share. Combine. It is about the people.

A body as a piece of anatomy. We don’t want to take it.

Exposed, suddenly, and then it’s gone: the naked moment.

Is there much more than moments?

Transgress the agreement, a different light every day.

Too attractive to play with. Deceive with words.

It is very short and very long —

Being seen for seven minutes.

What to do with a naked body?

Yes, we fuck. Laugh in response to fight.

The personal involvement. Who holds the script?

More than naked: the costume of nudity.

Layers separate the unexpected.

Fragile ideas:

I lost something.

It’s okay.

Breathing together doesn’t work.

(Without) identity.

I choose not to say:

“Where are the ethics?”



“Rules got out of the window.”

That which is not me:

Refuse. Reject. Disgust. Response. Paradox.

This is not me. This is the moment of misidentification.

This is the fiction, the subject, the object.

The walls are permeable. Out of our castles, we go, out of our walls.

It went through our body:

That which falls one day will be you.

The symbolic order, the event that you choose.

Upset our power, nasty bacteria, die.

Disturb the composition, the composite.

The date of expiry: as you get close to it, you distance yourself from it.

Why are you doing this?

Because we need new rituals to deal with this.

Because the personal normativity of nociceptors make us choose your own pain.

Because the body is permeable.

Because the sacred demands the abject.

Because excessive fiction creates reality.

Because the tools of the unrealistic reality are out of reach.

Because as a way of life it’s not quite possible.

Radical resistance, dismissal and refusal

turn to treasure hunting and redefining values through solidarity.

Becoming what we do not carry. Failure.

The rejection of utopias.

A way of life, it’s not quite possible.

Going backwards, we project into a future

Beyond failure.

The evident incapability to confirm to scripts.

Alternate realities, lost utopias, passionate phantasy, exaggerate naivety.

The antagonist,

Codified beyond aesthetics

Rewriting the history of

Anger and frustrations

against expectations

construct realities

as dystopian utopias.

Honestly, we cannot do anything.

Identity is self-inflicting, does not distinguish.

Gender is not performed.

“I” am not trying to become.

“I” am not deliberate.

You want them to bless, and you discard them,

Failure is the crack in which we slip.

Re-do our failures. Retrospect. Surprise, and how to deal with it.

By not getting there, do we get somewhere?

The space between your bodies is my crack.

I searched for reasons, and I could not find them.

You don’t remember, this doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Who are we talking to?

Are we just reinforcing the code?

Toxic positivity displaces responsibility.

The paralysis of the non-doing.

Protest the public space. Public questions.

You’re not going to take it.

Gather. Disapprove. (R)evolution.

Keep the mission going.

Ritualistic community building. Poems. Songs.

Everything starts from a question, an ethical stance.

What is the destination?

Destabilise the peaceful imagery.

— Spectacularity — Media. The World Stage

Projects the voice, unplugged, as a sign of existence.


Write your own script.

Give your voice.

— Not only for but with. —

Tell their stories. Empower

through the process.

When decisions become art,

changing mind, thoughts and heart,

to grow in a way you want.

To contextualise our lives. To find validity,

we pose the questions of involvement:

What do we take for granted?

Are we fluidly able, monuments?

Who are the activators in the public sphere?

What is the action that we are taking?

Will you stand with me?

Is there a way of making art/living without running a risk?

I don’t have an opinion.

Start from a question.

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