Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 18:41

自由花

2011 10月3日,我們被邀請到法國南部"馬賽"演出高郁宜舞蹈作品「自由花」。

「自由花」由兩段不同的夢境,揉為一瞬美好澄明的光影。

我們要前往遙遠未知的目的地,人漸漸的離去,
我看見自己的悲傷卻感到異常美好。
夢裡,大家已死去,寧靜平和的聚在黑暗當中;當事物只剩

下本質,從黑暗裏望出去的只有光明。

了無生機的沙灘兀自豎立的枯枝,萌出了新芽兒…
希望你,與我一同走進,共同存在和發生的當下之中。

 


表演全長約四十分鐘

編導 / 舞者:高郁宜
製作 / 音樂:楊子頡
影像 / 舞台:鄭晴心

高郁宜談自由花:

「『自由花』是我第一個自編自導自跳的『作品,然而一切都是從我跟Satyana和Pinti的討論開始的...我們決定各自做一個作品,然後我的腦中就開始充滿了各種畫面包括劇本、舞台設計、場景、燈光、戲服、音樂。提到音樂是我唯一遺憾的部份,這五次的演出後有觀眾來問我為什麼大部份用西方音樂,一方面是自由花的每個部份是同步的在我腦中不斷生長,我無法同時跟一個音樂人溝通。另一方也顯示了台灣在我這一代的音樂便是如此。

回到主題,『自由花』這個作品就在騎機車、記憶中、小時候的畫本裡、夢中、刷牙時、討論中、刹車時....形成了現在這個樣貌。在心理準備方面則是不斷從生活中的各種小細節裡交換養份得來。

舞踏原本始於對西方舞蹈與社會的反叛性,而這種反叛性於今對我來說是在日常生活的態度中對於喜、怒、哀、樂這些生命重量的一種反思。而舞蹈是我熱情與喜悅的源頭,同時也是做為探索挖掘未知且真實的自己的一條途徑。

我很感謝子頡與Pinti在不同方面給我的協助
舞蹈、音樂我尚蓋愛! 我們永遠不會分開!」

 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 18:12

Yi Migrant Workers in Chengdu

Though the numbers change according to economic circumstances, an estimated 150-200 million Chinese rural workers are living and working in cities. They often face discrimination in housing, education, healthcare and employment due to their temporary status, though several cities are working towards improving their conditions. Employers often take advantage of internal migrants’ vulnerable status by withholding billions of Yuan in unpaid wages. Also, school and healthcare fees have a disproportionate impact on migrant workers, whose incomes are on average lower than other urban residents. For migrant families, various additional fees make attendance at state schools unfeasible. Furthermore, most migrants in China’s cities live without health insurance, rarely visit a doctor, and only go to the hospital in the most extreme cases of illness or injury.

The above is especially true when it comes to “ethnic minority migrant workers.” Altogether, 56 "nationalities" are officially recognized in China, the Han and 55 “national minorities". The Yi nationality is one of these national minorities. The various subgroups belonging to entity are spread throughout the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, totaling more than seven million people (five million in Yunnan, two millions in Sichuan). In Sichuan, most Yi people live in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The Autonomous Prefecture covers over sixty thousand square kilometers. It comprises seventeen counties and about five hundred major villages with a total population of more than four million, more than 2 million of the inhabitants being Yi. The relative prosperity of its capital, Xichang city, does not hide the fact that the Liangshan Prefecture is the third poorest among the 30 autonomous prefectures in China. The altitude ranges on the whole from 2000 to 3000 meters, with the highest peak at 5,959 meters.

One can find migrant workers from Liangshan in most of the major cities of China. Many group together in Sichuan’s capital. There are no statistics on the number of Yi migrant workers living in Chengdu, mainly because of the very high volatility of this population (many migrants only stay a few days or a few weeks), and of the low visibility of the Yi community (Yi migrants don’t wear ethnic clothes and look very similar to other migrants). The proximity with Liangshan makes Chengdu one of the natural destinations for inexperienced migrants who want to benefit from the presence of Yi fellows in the city, and older migrants who favor the possibility of returning home regularly to take care of their family.

In contrast with the Tibetan community, Yi people in Chengdu seem very scattered. There are almost no Yi shops, only 1 or 2 Yi bars, almost no place where Yi people particularly enjoy gathering (except the Southwest University for Nationalities). The surroundings area of the two railway stations are known for attracting a number of poor Yi migrants who don’t know were to go and how to get started in Chengdu. The very poor east part of the city used to have some quasi-slums inhabited by drug-addicts, and it is said that many of them were Yi. But it seems that most Yi people in Chengdu are spread out in the city, or in suburb factories, and have relationship with small groups of friends from their native area. They are not strictly enclosed in Yi networks; on the contrary most of them also socialize with local Han people and migrants from other ethnic groups.

These photographs focus on a group of workers coming from the small township of Baiwu, the most distant part of Liangshan, in the Yanyuan district of Sichuan Province. Their ancestors’ lives consisted in farming and grazing sheep, a lifestyle that kept them working from sunrise to sunset every day. Later, through the acquaintances of relatives and friends they went to Chengdu and began to hire themselves out as workers.

As many have not even graduated from primary school and are without any special skills, most of them can only do hard physical labor, such as construction workers or furniture movers. Some also work in restaurants or as security guards. The work is strenuous, the labor very intense and income is low (around 700-800 Yuan per month or even lower, food and rent not included).

The Yi workers range in age from 20 to 40 years old, so they are carrying the twin burdens of supporting their elders and caring for their children, who sometimes number three or four (minorities are exempt from the one child policy). They still have to send money back home (around 500 Yuan per month) in order to satisfy the demanding expectations and desires of their families back in their hometowns.

To save money, several workers rent a single room together so each one only pays 50 to 60 Yuan per month. The living conditions are barely adequate and the hygiene extremely poor. They buy their own food and cook extremely simple meals themselves. When someone from the same province celebrates his birthday, everyone goes together to a small restaurant to share a meal. This is their most extravagant luxury in this big city. Sometimes they allow themselves the pleasure of going to watch a movie. Their social interactions are constricted, with little room for intimacy, but they help each other whenever one of them gets sick or has problems.

The majority of the workers who are currently working in Chengdu are satisfied with the current situation because they consider it to be better than farming in their hometown or grazing sheep. It could be better, it could be worse: the workers are generally of a placid spirit. They frankly say that although the city of Chengdu is pleasurable, bustling and lively, they are only passing by. In the end, they will return to their land where their roots are.

Working as hired men gives them an opportunity to experience another style of life, and shows them their own deficiencies and shortcomings. All the workers also assert that they will do their best to allow the future generations a greater chance to study. Although each worker has his own aspirations and expectations concerning the future, the general wish is just to earn a little more money and go back home, in order to improve their own lives and those of their families.

Minority migrant workers are often the first victims of overall economic difficulties. If their experience in the cities is to be a meaningful one, it is urgent to teach them the skills that will later on help them build a sustainable future once they are back on their land.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 16:59

Flowers of Liberty

On October 3rd, 2011, I embarked with dancer Kao Yu-i and musician Yang Zijie on a theatrical tour to Marseille, France. We gave five performances in five different parts of the city. Here is a video excerpt from the fourth performance which took place at the Alcazar library on October 14th:

"Segments from two separate dreams create a beautiful moment shining through lucid shadows
Heading towards an unknown, far away destination, the people gradually disperse
In the dream, everyone has already passed away, gathered in the tranquil darkness;
when an object is stripped to its essence, the only thing we can see out from the darkness, is light
Dead branches protrude awkwardly from the lifeless beaches, yet sprout new roots
I hope you will come and be with me, in the existing and happening present."

(Photo by Yurasleepless)

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 11:46

The Gift of Attentiveness

At the beginning of a new year, what wish do I want to express for myself and for the people whom I know and love? Let me think… Maybe, you’ll consider my wish to be rather unambitious (but think twice); I just wish all of us to cherish and nurture a tiny little virtue – a virtue often neglected: Attentiveness. Attentiveness to what? Well… to nothing in particular. Pure attentiveness. Attention to anything that may happen, to silence as well as music - to the changes that are occurring within oneself, society, the cosmos… Or, maybe, if such attentiveness is truly to be assigned an object: attention to the current of life that runs within the depth of my inner being.

There are privileged moments when the breeze of the night, the smell of incense or an unexpected moment of solitude will suddenly free us from our occupations. Our social Self is no longer our center. We calmly descend into depths that we had not explored yet, discerning layers of feelings and existence that challenge the way we used to perceive ourselves. This might happen indeed at specific, privileged times, but it is always prepared by long periods of maturing – periods that may have been marked by troubles and sorrow as well as by peace. Things just happen within us because we have been attentive, even if we were not fully conscious of the attentiveness we were exerting. Pure attention is not truly an effort we make - rather it is a state into which we enter. And the abyss of life opens up at some point, so that we may penetrate the inner grottoes, and contemplate the running water that bring us to our Origin.

In keeping with the water metaphor: Looking at the sea from the shore, till the waves have become the very music of our soul, may tell us something about entering pure attentiveness. The peace that comes from our surrendering to the current of life makes the same sound as the waves do. Taken into the interplay between the waves, the sand and the wind, we experience the innermost and outermost of our Being – what is more external to me than the external world, what is more internal to me that my most secret thoughts, all fuse into One…

In the ordinary situations of our life it is often very difficult to sense this secret world that inhabits us. We rather feel prisoners of a courtyard of bricks and mortar, and have to take solace from the rarefied foliage of a lonely tree… Still, Hope helps us to grow in the virtue of attentiveness, so as to make us able to fracture the closed walls of our courtyard. Here is my wish for you, dear readers of Renlai and of eRenlai: in 2012, may you be rewarded of your efforts at patience, hope and attention, so as to experience anew the current of life that runs deep within the universe, within humankind, and within your own souls…

Painting by Bendu

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