Guillermo Gómez-Peña & Roberto Sifuentes of La Pocha Nostra (USA)
Rituals and Strategies to Decolonize the Body
- an intensive four day Performance Laboratory

(East End Collaborations)

Thursday 8–Sunday 11 June 2006

Times: 12noon – 19.00 daily
Participation costs: £75 (£50 concessions)
Location: The Arts Pavilion, Mile End Park, London, E1
Deadline for applications: 5 May 2006

Introduction and context

PSi #12: Performing Rights is a collaboration between Queen Mary, University of London, East End Collaborations and the Live Art Development Agency. Taking place between 14 June and 18 June 2006 in London, PSi #12: Performing Rights will be a major international conference and performance festival investigating the boundaries and relationships between contemporary performance practices and human rights, and asking: "What can performance do for human rights, and human rights for performance?"

PSi #12: Performing Rights is being approached as an opportunity to not only present performance based works concerned with these issues, but also to create contexts in which to equip, inspire and empower artists to make a difference.


Rituals and strategies to decolonize the body

Rituals…is an intensive four day Performance Laboratory exploring creative methodologies around issues of art, activism and human rights. The Performance Laboratory will use the influential methodologies and ideas behind Guillermo Gómez-Peña's extraordinary body of work as a stimulus for new approaches to politically engaged performance based strategies, and will provide an opportunity for artists working in Live Art and experimental performance to explore new models of relationships between art, activism and human rights.

The Performance Laboratory will offer participants a focused framework for their continuing artistic development by encouraging an awareness of the issues impacting on their practice, enhancing the range of approaches and skills available to them and inspiring different ways of working.


Who is it for?

The Performance Laboratory is particularly aimed at artists who are at an early stage of their artistic development and those from culturally diverse backgrounds. Participants must have a declared interest in issues of art, activism and human rights, and direct experience of working with Live Art and experimental performance practices.

The Performance Laboratory is for a maximum of 20 participants who will be selected on an open application basis.

Participants must be able to commit themselves to all four days in full.

The cost of participation in the Performance Laboratory is £75 (£50 concessions) per person in total.


The application process

To apply to take part in the Performance Laboratory please send a short statement about the nature of your practice, why you would like to participate in the laboratory, what you think you can bring to the laboratory, and how you think the laboratory will contribute to your practice.

Please include your full contact details including your postal address, landline and mobile numbers and email address.

Your statement should be emailed to:
Rose Sharp
Subject: PSi 12: Performing Rights/Laboratory

Or posted to:
Rose Sharp
PSi 12: Performing Rights/Laboratory
East End Collaborations
Room 4.01 @ The People’s Palace
School of English & Drama
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS

by 5 May 2006 at the latest

Participants will be notified about whether they have a place by 15 May.


The artists

Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Born and raised in Mexico City, Gómez-Peña moved to the USA in 1978. His work, which includes performance art, video, audio, installations, poetry, journalism, and cultural theory, explores cross-cultural issues, immigration, the politics of language, "extreme culture" and new technologies to the national radio news magazine all things considered, a writer for newspapers and magazines in the US and Mexico, and a contributing editor to the drama review (MIT). He has been described as "among the most significant of late-twentieth-century performance artists" (Village Voice) and "a peacemaker in the world's culture clash" (Vanity Fair).

Roberto Sifuentes
Roberto Sifuentes is an interdisciplinary artist whose work fuses charged cultural and political issues with a cutting edge pop culture aesthetic, often combining live performance with interactive technologies and video as a presentation medium. A founding member of La Pocha Nostra, Sifuentes has collaborated and performed with Guillermo Gómez-Peña and La Pocha throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America. Since 2001, Sifuentes has also been Artistic Director and Lecturer of The Trinity/La MaMa Performing Arts Program in New York.

La Pocha Nostra
Founded in 1993 by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Roberto Sifuentes and Nola Mariano, La Pocha Nostra is an ever morphing trans-disciplinary arts organization based in San Francisco with branches and factions in many other cities and countries. With an international performance history that spans more than 500 events, La Pocha Nostra seeks to provide both a support network and forum for artists of various disciplines and ethnic backgrounds. La Pocha Nostra is neither an ensemble, nor a troupe, but more of a conceptual laboratory; a loose association of rebel artists thinking together, exchanging ideas, fears and aspirations and jumping into the abyss together.

“We provide a base for a loose network and forum of rebel artists from various disciplines, generations and ethnic backgrounds. If there is a common denominator, it is our desire to cross and erase dangerous borders including those between art and politics, art practice and theory, artist and spectator - ultimately to dissolve borders and myths of purity whether they be specific to culture, ethnicity, gender, language or metier”.


The organisers

Queen Mary, University of London is a campus university in London's East End, only twenty minutes by tube from the city centre. Arts and Humanities research at Queen Mary is regarded as some of the very best in the UK. Drama at Queen Mary has a particular emphasis on live art, contemporary performance and theatre for social change.

East End Collaborations (EEC) responds to the professional development needs of graduates and emerging artists working with Live Art and based in London by offering information, advice and expertise and the opportunity to showcase work in an annual open submissions platform. East End Collaborations works collaboratively with Queen Mary, University of London and the Live Art Development Agency. EEC is financially assisted by Arts Council, England.

The Live Art Development Agency is the leading development organisation for Live Art in the UK and works in partnership with practitioners, venues and institutions on artist and programme initiatives. It develops strategies for increasing popular and critical awareness, provides practical information and advice, and offers opportunities for dialogue, debate, research and training.

Performance Studies International (PSi) is an international powerhouse of innovation for academics, artists and activists founded in 1997 to promote communication and exchange across the international field of performance studies.

PSi#12: Performing Rights 2005 is financially assisted by Arts Council England.


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