Organized by Dorit Cypis
Over the past half century, those who walked before us have marshalled identity politics towards liberative ends. These strategies have achieved much success; they have also left us scarred and schismed along lines whose shapes and textures empower our politics but obscure our nuanced human selves.
Race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, ability, culture, and religion are precious pieces of our lived realities, full of power from which we can draw important truths; however, these neat categories hold equal power to isolate us from the possibilities of intersubjectivity. Histories of identity categorization, lack of personal interaction between identity groups in private space, and technologies that short circuit face-to-face contact conspire to shroud critical nuance and overshadow our collective potential.
While the decades of Identity Politics have awakened us to discursive strategies toward justice, is this awareness enough to heal the histories of trauma, fear and anger that linger between us?
One Another, facilitated by artist and mediator Dorit Cypis, is a durational research project that explores new actionable approaches to understanding who we are to one another. Throughout the program, Cypis offers tools from her Peoples Lab initiative to build communication skills, and invites participants to co-create new strategies for more intimate engagement across difference.
The project will unfold in four phases:
Phase 1: On Wednesday, Apr 17, Cypis will present One Another: Identity, Difference + Conflict: a ten-act interactive presentation on One Another’s central themes. Following the presentation, an online application to participate in Phase 2 will be released.
Phase 2: Twelve selected participants commit to a seven month process of rigorous inquiry, self-examination, and facilitation training, in preparation for Phase 3.
Phase 3: Selected participants will co-create and facilitate with Cypis a Public Dialogue on Sunday, Oct 20 asking: “who are we to one another?”
Phase 4: Assessment
Interested in participating in this collaborative research program?
Dorit Cypis, Israeli, Canadian, American, has explored themes of history, identity, and social relations as an artist, educator and social activator since the 1980s. Her work, poetic, formal, body full and political, traverses performance, photography, immersive media installation and social practice. The civic community programs she has created include Kulture Klub Collaborative, initiated in 1992, for artists and home-less youth to bridge survival and inspiration. She has written on identity and social relations for books and journals and has designed curriculum for colleges and universities. Her current artwork, Close Your Eyes If You Want to See, transposes a proverb on human relations to visual braille then interpreted by musicians as musical score to transform seeing to listening. Peoples Lab is her initiative to build creative leadership for social change.
Visual designed by Jay Are
Image by Dorit Cypis