An Anti-Polarization Action
The Dis/Agreement Project

Dana Caspersen
(c) Dana Caspersen

An Anti-Polarization Action

THE DIS/AGREEMENT PROJECT is an anti-polarization action involving ten artists from around the globe who are reaching out to exchange with people with whom they either agree or profoundly disagree on a topic that is important to them– through a process of filmed physical interviews.
Initiated by award-winning artist and conflict engagement specialist Dana Caspersen, THE DIS/AGREEMENT PROJECT will create a visual dialogue inviting participants and viewers into an experience of humanizing others in the face of division. The goal of the project is not debate, argument, or persuasion, but rather a deeper understanding of the people behind the positions and beliefs that they hold.
Each artist will invite four people– two with whom they agree and two with whom they disagree– to engage in spoken dialogues on the topic they have chosen and physical interviews where the agreement or disagreement is not the topic, but rather the context of the exchange. In the physical interviews, participants will be invited to respond to questions using simple physical gestures, without speaking. The questions will explore the interviewee’s lived experience of the events and circumstances that shape their thinking.
These 50 interviews from around the world will be brought together to create a single visual dialogue appearing in both live and digital formats, enabling a global exchange that would not be possible in a single physical location or through words alone.
The artists in THE DIS/AGREEMENT PROJECT are Jumana Al Refai (Kuwait), Nour Barakeh (Syria/ Austria), Isaac Blake (UK Romani), Mayra Hernandez (USA), Ani Javian (USA) , Jacquey Nyaminde (Kenya), Valerie Oliveiro (Singapore/ USA), Jakevis Thomason (USA), and Mengfan Wang (China).

Dana Caspersen (c) Dominik Mentzos
Project Director Dana Caspersen is conflict engagement specialist, performing artist, and author. In her work integrating conflict engagement strategies with choreographic methodologies, she has designed and realized teaching and communication methods and large-scale public dialogue models bringing together thousands of people from diverse communities – from a refugee camp in Berlin to Lincoln Center’s Global Exchange conference. Her book, Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution, has been translated into 8 languages. As a leading collaborator of the choreographer William Forsythe for over 30 years, Caspersen has co-created and performed across the world as a principal artist with the Ballet Frankfurt and the Forsythe Company. Dana has received the Bessie Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in the United States and was nominated for the Lawrence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in England.
Valerie Oliveiro (c) Valerie Oliveiro
Participant from the Midwest (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Valerie Oliveiro, born in Singapore, is a queer artist in the performance field, based in the Twin Cities. She embraces complexity and transdisciplinarity in her practice and creates work using dance and movement as the primary motor for expression. Her current research excavates notions, realities, and imaginations of vastness. Oliveiro has performed for Jennifer Monson, Morgan Thorson, Rosy Simas, Pramila Vasudevan, and Emily Gastineau at venues across the Twin Cities. She has also performed at national venues such as Danspace, New York Live Arts, MANCC, Portland Art Museum, BASE Seattle, ADI, Fischer Center for Performing Arts, Vermont Performance Labs, and Maui Arts and Cultural Center. She maintains a long-term creative practice with Jennifer Monson. Oliveiro is one of seven artistic directors of Red Eye Theater, an ensemble member of Lighting Rod, and co-runs MOVO SPACE, an incubator for dance and performance.
Supported by the Goethe-Institut Boston and Chicago, the Dance Department of Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, the State University of N.J., USA, the National Performance Netz-Stepping Out, funded by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, as part of the Neustadt Kultur Initiative, an aid program for dance.


Language: English
Price: Free

More information about the current state of the project can be found on the DIS/AGREEMENT PROJECT webpage