Venuri Perera (Sri Lanka), Zwoisy Mears-Clarke (Germany)
As Sri Lankan-born Venuri and Jamaican-born Zwoisy started working together, they recognized that the language they shared was in fact their colonial inheritance. They began their transnational collaboration in a studio in Berlin, where Zwoisy has worked for many years. Here they shared stories from the islands on which they grew up, several thousand miles east and west of where they met.
Sri Lanka and Jamaica were both under colonial occupation for centuries, gaining independence from final British rule in 1948 and 1962 respectively. To this day both countries retain legal systems, educational systems, class systems, moral codes and language left behind by their colonial rulers.
Venuri and Zwoisy, born generations after their countries’ independence, still find that the things they have in common are English-speaking, middle-class and western: their own privilege.
Holding this uncomfortable truth, two tropical islanders unravel the complications of their own identities as brown/black persons embodying white heritage. Together they probe the reaches and the limits of their privilege, examining the ways in which they are positioned — and position themselves — on their own countries and in the world beyond. They ask if they are preserving what they seek to defy.
Concept, Choreography & Performance: Zwoisy Mears-Clarke, Venuri Perera | Dramaturgy: Sunila Galappatti, Sara Mikolai | Sound: Isuru Kumarasinghe | Light: Namal Jayasinghe | Production: Bandu Hewage | Funded by: the International Coproduction Fund of the Goethe-Institut | With support of: Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka
This project is part of round 3 of the International Coproduction Fund, year 2017.