Manila: Call for Participation Announced

Manila Gathering

Dates: November 5 – 8, 2015

The Fluid States Philippine Cluster events will culminate in an international conference in Manila set for November 5 – 8, 2015. The conference will feature roundtables and panels and papers on the roro journeys and the main themes of the conference. A unique part of the program is a roro journey in the city on the second day, with the participants having a choice of three itineraries. The journeys will include visits to a maritime museum, a Buddhist temple, Intramuros the old city of Manila, interactions with community theatre groups and artist communities, a food and theatre tour, and a ferry ride on the Pasig River. The conference plenaries and panels will be in two venues: De La Salle University-Manila and the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Proposals for individual papers and panels are welcome. Deadline is on January 31, 2015; notifications of acceptance on February 20, 2015. Email proposals to

The call for Local and Visiting Correspondents is also now available here.


We live on tilted earth, where soil merges with sea, behind us the slope of mountains, located at what seems to be the edge of the world, at the beginning of the great expanse of the Pacific and what lies beneath and above it, the ring of fire and raging storms, the ring of disaster. The water surges in from the sea or rampages down from the slopes of mountains. The tilting is a constant and we have never perfected the balancing act it requires. Living on tilted earth, here we are, once again, after the strong earthquake and Yolanda, the image of victimhood, crying out for compassion to the rest of the world, who have come in droves to help. We are grateful. But then again we tilt to find another sense of balance, a sense of agency and self-possession, of self-responsibility. We strive to find our own feet, however wobbly. What might all these mean in terms of performance?

Performance in archipelagic space, performance as inter/connection, identification and belonging, performing risk/performing at risk, performance as intervention for survival and restoration, performance in unstable sites, resilience, theatre and climate change

Key questions that might be taken up by papers, panels, exhibitions, and performances (in addition to the roro journey themes):

What and how is it to live (and die) on tilted earth, in the ring of disaster? How does this life and the experiences of death and devastation in disaster prone areas translate to views of the world and notions of human development, safety, and risk?

How may performance and performance research contribute to an awareness of viewpoints and
sensibilities that are often unacknowledged or invisible in discussions on the development of communities and disaster-preparedness? How can performance help mitigate disaster and its effects? How can performance help save and protect lives? How can performance revivify creativity and spur a reimagination of the future?
Corollarily: What are the costs—cultural, economic, and political— of connecting and traversing distances? Who bear these costs the most? How are these borne or negotiated? What are the productive uses of performance for living with and through the traumas and terrors caused by disasters like Yolanda/Haiyan or by calamities of crossing the seas (to study, work, visit, or relax)? How does performance narrate stories of hardship or victory, especially for people living on the coasts or on the plains, or pushed to inhabit the mountains?

What is it to live in an archipelago? What does it mean for people to live in a country with 7,100 islands beyond the simple (or complex) fact that the cultures in these islands differ one from the other? Is there such a thing as an archipelagic consciousness? What might this mean in terms of an awareness of difference and similarity, division and connection, fragmentation and belonging? How might ‘regionalism’ or ‘nationalism’ be located within or in relation to the archipelagic? How might conflicts and animosities be understood? How are all these informed or shaped by history and discourses of nationality? And how might performance help in thinking about these things?

Tentative Program:

DAY 0: November 5 (Thursday) (DLSU)
4:00 – 8:00 PM --Registration and Welcome Dinner

DAY 1: November 6 (Friday) (DLSU)
8:00 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 9:40 Welcome Program
9:40 – 10:00 Setting the Course
10:00 – 12:00 Opening Keynote Panel
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch Break
1:30 – 3:00 Parallel Panels I
3:15 – 4:45 Parallel Panels II
5:00 – 6:30 Roundtable Discussion I
6:30 – 8:00 Dinner and Travel to Performance Site 1
8:00 – 10:00 Performance Evening 1

DAY 2: November 7 (Saturday)
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM   Roro Journeys in the City (Various Venues)
8:00 – 10:00 PM Performance Evening 2

DAY 3: November 8 (Sunday) (University of the Philippines-Diliman)
8:00 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 10:30 Roundtable Discussion II
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:30 Parallel Panels III
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch Break
1:30 – 4:00 Closing Keynote Panel
4:00 – 5:00 Closing Program

Tags: Disaster Recovery Resilience and Performance  Environment Ecology and Performance  Mobility Travel Transport and Performance   Performance Studies in Asia  

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