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Thursday March 14 | Session 17:15 - 18:15 (20 min) De Brakke Grond | Steegzaal
On April 14 David Buckel lit himself on fire in a public park in Brooklyn. He chose a quiet spot on an early Saturday morning and was not discovered before he burned to death. Minutes before this act of self immolation, he sent an email out to the New York Times, stating his act was meant to raise awareness about the horrors of climate change. Buckel was a well known and respected lawyer fighting for LGBTQ rights, while volunteering all of his spare time to making his Brooklyn neighborhood more sustainable. As he lives for political change, his death became an activist gesture, almost a performance.
Most of my work poses questions about radical and quotidian interventions, and whether or not to accept the limits of what seems human(e) (or what seems a natural limit). In the theatre play Holy F, for example, I wonder whether feminists should start using violence to enforce justice.

Violence is the only true intoxication I have ever experienced. The few times that I was the victim of physical violence or inflicted physical violence, I lost a sense of control I dont lose with art or on drugs.

I’m less interested in bringing violence on stage. I’m more interested in underlining the performativity that is always already present in violence. When we study this performativity – instead of viewing violence as just a natural human quality – violence suddenly becomes an interpretable gesture.

In my performance lecture of 20 minutes, I’d like to share several fragments/thoughts on violence, while immediately acting those out with the audience. It doesn’t get rough. Instead, I invite the audience to become an ‘army of vulnerables’: what does it mean to think about violence from a vulnerable position? I propose to think about violence to imagine otherwise and to end the world as we know it.

Through breathing exercises and self-defense we’ll engage in questions on institutional power, societal norms, the use of capitalist language to epress our emotions. We’ll question how to identify an enemy to intervene on, while at the same time pushing back on the categorical, binary thinking that allows people to be (and thus stay) evil, or to be a victim.
Simon(e) van Saarloos (New Jersey, 1990) is a writer. She studied philosophy, literature and theatre at the UvA and at The New School in New York and is now starting an international Master program at the Dutch Art Institute, hoping to enhance her practise as a philosopher and performer. Her books include: Enz. Het Wildersproces, De vrouw die, Het monogame drama. She also writes theatre (Holy F, Maniacs, In Bed with Simone and most recently: Lopen op hollende wolken) and often performs on stage, as a performer, poet, lecturer, host and interviewer. 
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