No Woman’s Land - Walking as a Dramaturgical device in performance of maternal migration
In reference to Zoo Indigo’s autobiographical production No Woman’s Land (2016), this chapter discusses the performance walk as a methodology towards a dramaturgy of migration. Rosie Garton and Ildiko Rippel (Zoo Indigo) physically retraced the 220-mile migratory walk of a refugee mother, in search of an embodied experience of endurance. The chapter argues that, through the concrete experience of the walk and the staging of the exhausted maternal body, the performers developed a dramaturgy of authenticity in the performance of migration. In reference to kinesthetic empathy, the chapter proposes that audiences equally experience an authenticity effect in witnessing exhaustion and the act of walking on stage.
In 2015 Garton and her collaborator walked 220 miles across Poland and Germany, re-walking the route of a traumatic familial journey as a result of a violent expulsion in 1945. This article discusses the performance walk of ‘No Woman’s Land’ as a methodology towards a dramaturgy of migration, enabling an authentic representation of the migrant mother through the staging of the exhausted female body, the interweaving of documentary footage, and the real act of walking. During the performance, performers (and spectators), walked on treadmills through projections of archival and recent footage of migration. The article argues that through viscerally representing migration, the performance and documentary produced a kinesthetic empathy with the physical demands of escape and in turn provided an ontological ground for disseminating historical and political knowledge of forced maternal migration.
Citation : Garton, R.; Rippel, I. (2019) ‘No Woman’s Land - Walking as a Dramaturgical device in performance of maternal migration’ Critical Stages, 20
Research Institute : Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities