PROPONENT: Praba Pilar, Roewan Crowe, Peter Kulchyski, 

PROJECT NAME: Inter-Cultural Dialogue through Performance  

PROJECT TYPE: case study / theme group / event travel

We are proposing a solo performance and performance workshop on Inter-Cultural Dialogue by Guillermo Gomez Peña and Saul Garcia Lopez of the Pocha Nostra Troupe. The performance will interrogate and reflect on the theme of inter-cultural dialogue and will be followed by a five (5) day performance workshop for 18 – 20 participants from the Indigenous, Immigrant, Refugee, and Settler communities of Manitoba. The workshop will include a diverse inter-generational range of artists, cultural workers, and those curious about performance as a form of cultural resistance and dialogue. 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: (up to 500 words)

The Inter-Cultural Dialogue Performance Workshop will bring together Indigenous, Immigrant, Refugee, and Settler community members throughout Manitoba to develop new models for relationships between artists and communities which are neither colonial nor condescending. The workshop seeks to help participants find and experience new modes of relating laterally to the ‘other' in a less-mediated way, bypassing the myriad borders imposed by professional institutions, religious and political beliefs, and pop-cultural affiliations. The workshop performatively creates a community of rebel artists from different disciplines, ages, ethnic backgrounds, gender persuasions, and nationalities, in which difference and experimentation are not only accepted but encouraged.  

Guillermo Gomez Peña will present a solo performance exploring hemispheric issues of cultural conflict in the context of indigenous rights and dislocation, of voluntary and involuntary migration, and of settler communities. This will be followed by a five (5) day workshop where participants will be encouraged to decolonize and then re-politicize their bodies, to become sites for activism and embodied theory; for memory and reinvention; for pleasure and penance.

Inspired by the Idle No Moremovement, and the Hemispheric Encuentro call for proposals around the theme of MANIFEST, we hope to create possibilities for meaningful political artistic engagement, byraising these crucial questions: Why do we do what we do? Which borders do we wish to cross and why? Which are the hardest borders to cross both in the workshop and in our personal lives? How do we define our multiple communities, and why do we belong to them? What is the relationship between performance, activism, pedagogy and our everyday lives? What about the relationship between the physical body and the social body?


The primary projected outcome of this project is to develop artist-practitioner knowledge in the broader Manitoba community about working in the context of settler colonialism. Participants will be invited to join in auto-ethnography about the process of inter-cultural dialogue as it relates to the practice of performance and civic life. They will be invited to blog online about their practice as research so as to create dialogue about these important issues and to disseminate the research findings to the broader community.  Furthermore, participants will be encouraged to collaboratively develop performances and art pieces examining inter-cultural dialogue within their art practice for the 2014 Encuentro in Montreal. Conveners Roewan Crowe and Praba Pilar will utilize the research findings to catalyze the Artist as Repertoire Work Groupof the Encuentro. Additionally, Roewan Crowe and Praba Pilar will use this research in the course they are developing for the MA in Cultural Studies at the University of Winnipeg.


TIMELINE: Preparation and Call for Artists, Application Review, August 15-September 15, 2013; Performance and Workshop, November 6-14, 2013; Workgroup Development, September 15, 2013 to February 15, 2014; Workgroup at Encuentro, June 21-28, 2014. 

TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS: computers, sound and lighting systems and tech support for both GGP solo performance and workshop.


INVOLVEMENT OF GRADUATE STUDENTS: 1 MA Student from University of Winnipeg Cultural Studies or University of Manitoba Native Studies.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: While we have long standing relationships with our partners, development of this project is in the initial stages.