By Lawai BemBem
is a project by Lawai Bembem
, a work in progress. For Five Million Incidents, BemBem is presenting an augmented performance game designed exclusively for the audience players of Delhi. The foundation of this game is Meetei Mayek
– the alphabet to body writing system of Meeteilon
. Meeteilon is the indigenous language spoken by the Meetei people pf Manipur. In Meetei Mayek, each letter of the alphabet represents a body part. Kok-Sam-Lai / Head-Hair-Forehead; Mit-Paa-Naa / Eye-Eyelash-Ear; Chin-Tin-Khou / Lip-Saliva-Throat; Ngou-Thou-Wai / Pharynx-Chest-Navel; Yaang-Huuk-Uun / Spine-Lower Spine- Skin; Ee-Pham-Atiya / Blood-Placenta-Sky.
In Delhi, BemBem worked with a cross-section of the Meetei community living in the city. Using a one-on-one performance conversation methodology she’s developed over the last few years as part of her performance practice, she mapped the different forms of assimilation the bodies of the community are subjected to and the resistance to such assimilation.
The complexity of assimilation is distilled into an augmented performance game where audience players are invited to map the city of Delhi as an alphabet of body parts.