Enflame

A guerrilla performance intervention for events, foyers & public spaces

space

© Peta Addy

space

Enflame is an unannounced, guerrilla-style intervention for events, festivals, foyers, conferences & openings.

Constructed as a modular series of actions, Enflame deals with perceptions of cultural identity and the exclusion of young people from a refugee background.

Faced with young performers challenging the way in which they are exoticised by the art world, the audience is asked to consider the experience of being labelled and categorised, and how dominant white creative spaces can be exclusive. Ideas around privilege are highlighted using satire and humour.

Enflame has been tested at MCA and the TNN Theatre Gathering in 2018.

Infiltrating amongst the audience, the cleaners are absorbed into the background; the usual anonymous brown skinned workers you would find at any cultural institution. They form tableaux with cleaning tools becoming props, attracting the audience’s attention with a ghetto soundtrack. The cleaners escalate into a full tongue-in-check activist rally with short punchy speeches. With personal PA systems around their waists, they demand visibility.

Embedded in the program of official speeches, after the Welcome to Country, Ebube Uba a recent Nigerian immigrant, conducts a ‘house keeping’ speech that quickly crosses over into a list of methods we could adopt to decolonize and eliminate racism from the art world. This is a humorous prank tackling exoticisation of people with diverse backgrounds in the art and culture world.

In another moment, issues around privilege are addressed by the perfect art mascot – a giant panda with a microphone who is “black, white and Asian”. A clown, for your entertainment, interacts directly with the audience, requesting their impressions of what they know about indigenous people and culture, only to eventually reveal her indigeneity. And the performers play a provocative question game with audiences mingling in the foyer. Each person is rewarded with a label to wear around their neck for their answer, prompting further discussion and thought around labelling and judgement.

© Peta Addy

space


PYT Fairfield and Branch Nebula are supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, and by the NSW Government through Create NSW.