A COLLABORATION BY FATIN ABBAS & CHRIS LEUENBERGER
What happens when two white men, a Sudanese-American author, a Dalit activist and a diverse group of five female Outside Eyes dig into the question of privilege?
The starting point and musical score of the choreography, which explores the loaded valences of a white male body, is the song “ain’t got no, I got life“. Originally written for the musical Hair as a protest song against the Vietnam War and the restrictive social order of a conservative American society, it was reinterpreted and appropriated in 1968 by African-American singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone. While the original musical number centered around a young white male hippie renouncing his patriarchal and bourgeois privilege, in Simone’s version the lyrics suddenly reveal the history of black people in America. Individual body parts become resources of power and resilience for those who have been deprived of their freedom.
The first collaboration of Fatin Abbas & Chris Leuenberger is a relentless chamber play between a white male body and a female voice, brutally reflecting the white gaze—with its long and violent history—back on itself. Dalit activist Living Smile Vidya bears witness to the process as an additional presence on stage.
What would it mean if white men were to step down from their pedestal? Is it possible to destabilize the white gaze in order to reflect collectively on its privilege.
Text/Voice Fatin Abbas Dance/Performance Matthew Rogers, Living Smile Vidya Choreography Chris Leuenberger Dramaturgy Marcel Schwald Outside Eyes Pascale Altenburger, Serena Dankwa, Lea Martini, Monika Truong and Living Smile Vidya Mentoring Sally De Kunst Sound Thomas Jeker Lights Max Hampel Special thanks to René Agbor, Christi Dufour, JiHae Ko, Marcelo Kuna, Diego Mud and Sandeep TK