Destroy + Rebuild
Meena Murugesan
Tuesday, Jun 30 2020
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

 

 

An iteration of KARUPPU, a multimedia series by Pieter Resident Artist Meena Murugesan, in collaboration with the Destroy + Rebuild Collective, Akhila Ananth, மீனாட்சி // meenadchi, Anusha Kedhar, Arun Mathai & Anjali Alimchandani

 

Meena Murugesan has been developing an ongoing multimedia and performance series called KARUPPU (meaning Black in Meena’s mother tongue Tamil) since 2015. KARUPPU is an artistic series that works towards a decolonial rhythmic ritual of liberation for global Blackness, evoking both speculative, futurist, and realized connections between Dravidian, Dalit, Adivasi, and African peoples.
This latest iteration of KARUPPU – entitled Destroy + Rebuild – embodies a reimagined secular and syncretic Shiva energy. Six South Asian dancers based in Los Angeles have answered a call to come together with a collective rhythmic ritual in solidarity with Black life.
Director and Editor: Meena MurugesanConcept Partners: Akhila Ananth, d. Sabela grimes

Words by: B.R. Ambedkar, Octavia E. Butler, Angela Davis, W.E. Du Bois, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Mariama Kaba, Audre Lorde, Runoko Rashidi, Assata Shakur, 8toAbolition

Collective Choreography: 7 – Meena Murugesan, 6 – Akhila Ananth, 5 – மீனாட்சி / / meenadchi, 4 – Anusha Kedhar, 3 – Arun Mathai, 2 – Anjali Alimchandani

Thank you to: D’Lo, Dorothy Dubrule, QORE, Movement for Black Lives, BLM LA, and Black, Dalit and Indigenous freedom fighters who have shaped my very being

DESTROY/DISMANTLE/DESCENDING ORDER7 – Meena (thaka dhimi thakita thithithai thithithai)

6 – Akhila (thakita thakita thithithai thithithai)

5 – meenadchi (thaka thakita thithithai thithithai)

4 – Anusha (thaka dhimi thithithai thithithai)

3 – Arun (thakita thithithai thithithai)

2 – Anjali (thaka thithithai thithithai)

1 – All (thai thithithai thithithai)

REBUILD/REINVEST/ASCENDING ORDER1 – All (thai thithithai thithithai)

2 – Anjali (thaka thithithai thithithai)

3 – Arun (thakita thithithai thithithai)

4 – Anusha (thaka dhimi thithithai thithithai)

5 – meenadchi (thaka thakita thithithai thithithai)

6 – Akhila (thakita thakita thithithai thithithai)

7 – Meena (thaka dhimi thakita thithithai thithithai)

Artist Statement:
KARUPPU means Black in my language, Tamil. I have felt compelled to work through my own positionality to Blackness and anti-Blackness since 2015. karuppu asks: how can/can I be in conversation with and center Blackness while showing up in my diasporic South Indian non-brahmin dark-skin Tamil-ness?
As part of KARUPPU, I am investigating the potential to decolonize and de-brahminize the dance form bharata natyam. Some of this includes working with guiding principles found within bharata natyam that are not aligned with whiteness, extending and layering these principles in the body and in space, with a different politic. This includes integrating Tamil folk dance elements in the movement.
During the KARUPPU research process, I ask: how can/can I be in conversation with and center Blackness while showing up in my diasporic South Indian, non-brahmin savarna, dark-skin Tamil-ness? Destroy + Rebuild is the fourth offering in an ongoing series and strives to honor how deeply Black, Queer, Indigenous and Dalit feminisms have affected and shaped the core of my being. KARUPPU hopes to invoke the power of Blackness, of deep melanin, of dark matter. As my consciousness sharpens, this ongoing series of works will continue to develop with more dancers as we manifest powerful global melanin futurities. We work towards Black, Dalit and Indigenous liberation.
All non-Black people reading/viewing this,
if you have the means please donate to:
Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund
The Okra Project
This residency and screening program was made possible by support from the City of Los Angeles’s Department of Cultural Affairs.
Photo Credit: d. Sabela grimes