Residents' Daily Notes

Culturistan is a process-oriented program. During its 10 days, our residents share their thoughts every day and in any format they wish. 

Gelareh – Day 7 150 150 Culturistan

Gelareh – Day 7

Measuring the greed in our goals “For once on the face of the earth,let’s not speak in any language;let’s stop for one second,and not move our arms so much..” – Pablo Neruda How nice it was to open today with one of my favorite poems. The excerpt mentioned above is what I…

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Estephania – Day 7 150 150 Culturistan

Estephania – Day 7

Open Doors My work has been totally introspective. I have learned from me. I have heard all the noises and creaks of this house. I have integrated all its objects, its corners, its silences, its darkness, its rays of light. After having let in the sunlight through the windows, cleaning…

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Tara – Day 7 150 150 Culturistan

Tara – Day 7

Der Kolk states: “We now know that trauma compromises the brain area that communicates the physical, embodied feeling of being alive.” Just as the brain is able to create physiological changes and new neurological pathways in the body from trauma, artists/dancers are able to manifest new work or choreographic material…

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Fayaz – Day 7 150 150 Culturistan

Fayaz – Day 7

We are flagging. Late nights writing up our blogs, inordinate amounts of coffee, serious sleep debts, and powerful readings leading to challenging questions to the group and to ourselves are beginning to take their toll. It is appropriate that today’s readings begin with ‘Keeping Quiet’, by Pablo Neruda: It would…

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Iason – Day 7 150 150 Culturistan

Iason – Day 7

The universe, at 3:30 am’s desiccated depths Beamed down the evanescence of a million fading stars A muted, inscrutable forest treelineWithin which dormant night’s silenced, birds and animals dwell The opposite of a world where silence Is banished through an abundance of noise Take out your earbuds when running through…

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Greg – Day 7 150 150 Culturistan

Greg – Day 7

Deep Listening is a way of listening to everything possible to hear, no matter what you are doing. This includes the sounds of nature, of daily life, or of one’s own thoughts. “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda was our first reading of day 7 and expresses this idea beautifully. “Now…

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Tara – Day 6 150 150 Culturistan

Tara – Day 6

I spent 20 hours in transit in the last 48 hours, traveling from our residency to London and back again. I did this in order to attend a mandatory academic meeting and to rehearse and perform in an MFA dancer’s final thesis project entitled ‘She/Her’- a project made up of…

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Greg – Day 6 150 150 Culturistan

Greg – Day 6

Sometimes it’s better to not use words.Our readings from today: “The Bridge Builder” by Will Allen Dromgoole “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu “On Trees” by Herman Hesse “The Portable Phonograph” by Walter Van Tilburg Clark

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Fayaz – Day 6 150 150 Culturistan

Fayaz – Day 6

The residency continues to be intense. Reading 1, ‘The Bridge Builder’ by Will Allen Dromgoole is about paying it forward, and leaving things better than we find them. The bridges are, of course, literal and figurative, about today and tomorrow, past and present. We don’t often remember or care who…

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Yasmeen – Day 6 150 150 Culturistan

Yasmeen – Day 6

Today is the first day I started feeling a little homesick. I think this is a trick I’ve used whenever I’ve reached close to the halfway mark of something. I want to re-adjust to the finale before the finale arrives and also prepare for the transition ahead. More to the…

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Iason – Day 6 150 150 Culturistan

Iason – Day 6

Can you deal with life emotionally? Or get by with living rationally? Towards which will your life keel? Accelerated tech-reinforced soporifics in San Francisco, Dubai, Hong Kong?Or liminal living in the Cairos and Tehrans of the mind? Middle class عادی وگوسفندی in post-crisis Athens? Or down-and-out in 21st century Paris…

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Estephania – Day 6 150 150 Culturistan

Estephania – Day 6

Home The feeling of being alone recognizing this house often generates my anxiety. Anxiety to know if the path is correct or not. Anxiety to open another room that I have not discovered until now. The anxiety of doing it alone and of not having by my side those who…

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Gelareh – Day 6 150 150 Culturistan

Gelareh – Day 6

Today we visited the Château de Chenonceau, a castle extended on water from its original plan in the 11th century. Examining its lifeline, it seemed to accumulate a succession of extremely clever, strong, beautiful ruling women. Something I had not come across in France’s many castles. As I traversed through…

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Estephania – Day 5 150 150 Culturistan

Estephania – Day 5

The shadows I begin to open the windows and these incredible rays start to enter filling the space with a very particular warm color. These rays reach almost all corners and objects of each of the rooms but also leave space for some shadowy corners to form. The shadows I…

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Fayaz – Day 5 150 150 Culturistan

Fayaz – Day 5

The work we need to do is showing its impact on us. It’s been a heavy, and emotional day. I’d woken up early, like several others, to get a head start on our blog posts, the increasing development and maturity of which is inversely proportional to the speed at which…

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Iason – Day 5 150 150 Culturistan

Iason – Day 5

She didn’t get her visa, even at last appeal. All summer’s plans annulled A body released through a trapdoorWrenched back – lifeless – by a noose. First World problems, neverthelessNone of whose consequences can deprive us of a future, shelterOnly of comfort. Back at the talking shop, we discuss expectations…

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Tara – Day 5 150 150 Culturistan

Tara – Day 5

Culture as currency. Culture as wealth. If culture is a form of wealth, could not the culturally ‘rich’ trade cultural information for acknowledgment, advancement or recognition? One way in which cultural history affirms the power invested innately in the image or text is to uncover its dynamic relationship to other…

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Greg – Day 5 150 150 Culturistan

Greg – Day 5

There is a saying amongst Indian musicians that all a musician wants is an audience who listens. As we hit the half-way mark of our Culturisatn experience, what I have to say is being given the space to speak may not be as important as being given the space to…

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Gelareh – Day 5 150 150 Culturistan

Gelareh – Day 5

Destructive to Constructive “Ponder for a moment, what a shadow is, a space without light,presence in absence, the shape of anything but itself…“ – Denise Vargas Being a shadow, was always a favorite of mine. You could be a tree for a day and have people enjoy your shade, to follow…

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Yasmeen – Day 5 150 150 Culturistan

Yasmeen – Day 5

Day 5 of Culturistan began innocently, but we took a turn from our original schedule and programming.  I woke up with a rather urgent work situation to attend to, so my mind wasn’t totally present when we started either. I was not the only one who walked into the discussion…

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