Saturday, 18 of January of 2020

Barcelona Nights

I awoke this morning just in time to see Heather silently rolling her suitcase out the door. Sadly, she has returned to Toronto. Last night we celebrated the end of her trip by strolling through the old town with friends, stopping for dinner and drinks on La Rambla del Raval and enjoying a flamenco concert.

Jetlagged and jacked up on coffee, we spent the week schlepping back and forth between the apartment we rented and the International Federation of Theatre Research conference so we decided to catch up on what we’ve been missing. We asked a cab driver to take us to some of the city’s key architectural wonders. We saw the Cathedral, Casa Batlló and Sagrada Familia. In the ancient days of my youth I visited these buildings. They are still, in a word, breathtaking.

Earlier, Heather, Honor, Nyani and I presented our work as a panel called Memory and ecologies of hope. Experienced together for the first time, our presentations were as intricately linked like a well-choreographed dance.  Themes emerged such as— activating the archive through the body and creating acts of collective (re)membering. Memories, we all agreed lived in the body and can be evoked through performance.

The conference is over. Bitter sweet. We walked on the boardwalk along the seaside this evening under a perfect harvest moon. Honor and i  returned to our apartment. There is so much richness to unpack, so many people we connected with and so much still to unfold over the next while as we reflect on the insights we’ve gained and apply them to our work.

In the next few weeks I’ll continue to write about the our experiences. A new journey awaits us. Tomorrow we’re leaving for Granada where Africa meets Europe.

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