Holding Stories

Conference Presentation


Penna, X. 2023. Holding Stories. IFTR Accra The Stories We Tell: Myth, Mythmaking & Performance. University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana 24 - 28 Jul 2023
AuthorsPenna, X.
TypeConference Presentation
Abstract

The Afterlife Creative Memory Retreat by The Other Way Works (research and development) invited audience participants to an online retreat via Zoom. Inspired by the 1998 film After Life by Kore-eda Hirokazu, the work invites participants to focus on what they value in life through an in-depth creative exploration of their own important memories facilitating hope, togetherness and a deeper connection to one’s sense of self. The scenographer was part of the team of artists who devised exercises that were then given to the online audience to help them revisit some of their memories. A playful exercise featuring a red thread was introduced and the participants were encouraged to use it for connecting with each other’s screen spaces. Through the medium of touch and the playful scenographic illusion of the thread extending to other participants’ rooms, this tool was used as a way to create a sense of togetherness among the group. I will unpack the above scenographic action through the lens of 4Es cognition: enactive, ecological, embodied, embedded ‘and some cases extended and affective’ (Ward and Stapleton, 2012), suggesting that human cognition is an on-going collaboration between brain, body and environment. If places are shaped by significant historic moments (Hannah, 2011: 56), they are also shaped by the memories we choose to attach to those moments and a certain materiality related to those moments. By understanding thinking not as an individualistic activity but one that is happening within socio-cultural and material knowledge and inextricably integrated with perception and action I will argue that in the Afterlife Creative Memory Retreat, the tactile scenographic element of the thread enhanced the sense of memory as storytelling between the screens.

Keywordsscenography; The Other Way Works; on-line immersive performance; 4Es cognition; collaboration
Year2023
ConferenceIFTR Accra The Stories We Tell: Myth, Mythmaking & Performance
Web address (URL)https://iftr.org/conference/past-conferences/2020s
FunderUniversity of Derby
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Deposited27 Mar 2024
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