“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think.” –Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score
Lessons is a research project looking at the way intergenerational trauma is embodied in the everyday. At present, it takes the forms of a movement-based film and essay.
Marking a new exploration in the mediums of moving image and performance, the piece looks at the manifestations and consequences of this trauma with particular attention on mother-daughter relationships.Through an intimate autobiographical account and with attention to gesture, the piece visibilises the violence of memory. Drawing from child psychology, trauma studies, and performance pedagogy, The Lesson considers the unresolved, fragmented nature of childhood experiences and the ways they continue to leave a mark on adult life.
Film link is available upon request.
The Lesson was started at the GlogauAIR artist residency in Berlin, from Oct-Dec 2019, supported in part by the National Arts Council (Singapore).
Film stills and an accompanying essay can be found in The White Book.