on (taking) space


It’s Monday morning and I am on a train. This can only mean that I am off to somewhere. Somewhere new. 

After three years I am headed to a rehearsal room to make something new and to hopefully disentangle a little history, perhaps even shed something. How I long to feel I could cast off an old skin, be a new self. I am not sure, for me, shedding anything is ever possible; what is possible is creating a new layer. A new point of interaction, sitting on top of the old.

I am also really looking forward to having some fun and joy. Just writing the words fun and joy commits me to embracing that space of play. This is incredibly exciting and also incredibly scary as I will be taking space. And I am walking into this with the anxiety of taking space.

Much has changed over the past two years. I have tried to step aside and make space for others- many, different others. I have worked to enable spaces for communal sharing and for carving out some kind of perceived equal footing. That is so silly though, isn’t it? – there is no such thing as equal footing but nevertheless. I think we have succeeded a little and failed a lot. The structural inequality is too big for us to tackle properly. I just hope that by tackling them a little, it emboldens and empowers others to do the nudging they can. Because nudging is necessary as there continues to be much complacency and entitlement.

Alternatively you could say that not nearly enough has changed. Peers have lost jobs, much-needed talents from under-represented backgrounds no longer enriching our cultural lives. I have also seen others profiting from the crisis. it has and it continues to be a wild ride of survival.

This is the frame I carry with me at this start. I have paved an uneven path,a narrow space for my ideas to brew. As a migrant woman, I enter this space with anxiety and trepidation – why me, why now, why at all, who cares? Anxiety shaped by society’s need to elevate some over others, a society built beneath the massive pillars of capitalism.

Hello, here I begin.

If you want to see where I got to – I am doing a wee sharing on 4th March at 4pm at Dance Base Edinburgh. It’s free but book!