Returning to Home

As part of performingbordersLIVE 2020, “Returning to Home” is presented as a series of re/embodied workshops that focuses our attention to recognising, resetting and restoring.

This series was first envisioned as a three-day workshop utilizing theatre skills in bringing together bodies in movement, play and intimacy. These months of compounded challenges of the pandemic, social distancing and isolation, the shift to the digital space, and the surge of rage at the brutal murder of George Floyd – opened up painful questions around what does it mean to be ‘present’ physically? What does it mean to be together? What does it mean to allow each other space to breathe?

Apart from being simply a substitute holding space, can the digital realm provide conditions that allow for deeper connections and even more radical transformations? Looking to other narratives where the physical body has been denied, negated, or de-valued, the workshop series have been re-made with the priority of sharing space, recognizing our many states of flux and being, redistributing our resources and attention to reclaim being-at-home with ourselves.

Curated by Annie Jael Kwan with Whiskey Chow @whiskeyciao and June Lam @assignedfagatbirth 
Commissioned and produced by performingbordersLIVE

Workshop 1: let me give you some breathing space.
28 June 2020, 1900 – 2030h JST

Led by Annie Jael Kwan

Everything, and everyone, starts with the breath. In the age of safe social distancing, the act of breathing has been perceived as perilous, and possibly violent. In the public space of systemic racism and violence, breathing is a desperate act. As we wait, in the fact of ongoing anxiety and rapid social changes, we catch our breath. This digital workshop offers a safe space for us to recognize what we’ve gone through and what we’re carrying, and to relocate the self in this space of transition and flux between the digital and the disembodied. Working with ‘presencing’, breathing, listening, writing, sound, we will gather, ground, and honour our scattered selves in an experimental, collective creative process. 

Duration: 1.5 hours,

Workshop 2: A Sky Full of Stars: A body-positive workshop centring sense of acceptance, self-appreciation and love.
4 July 2020, 1900 – 2300h JST
Led by Whiskey Chow

This digital workshop aims to create a safe space for all types of bodies and genders to collectively build up a self-adoring narrative via presentation and representation of one’s body. Led by queer Asian artist Whiskey Chow, this is a journey to explore the relationship between one’s body and oneself; embracing vulnerability and intimacy. It is a group experiment to self-curated a bodyscape that stands for unapologetic queer path to alternative beauty. 

“’Cause you get lighter the more it gets dark…
Cause you’re a sky, you’re a sky full of stars”

We are taking the advantage of digital meeting software to create a safe space for all participants. People will be encouraged to bring one image representing/reflecting their relationship between themselves and their bodies. Those images will work as a shelter allowing participants to express freely without showing their faces. All visual communication in the workshop will be through still and moving image of one’s body, but participants will have full control of their own agency. Details of the workshop to be informed after our selection process, but feel free to contact us if you want to know more or have any concern before signing up.

N.B. We don’t want to make things complicated or competitive. The selection process for this workshop is just a way to optimize the experience of all participants and final outcome of the workshop. Thus, we will ask you two questions when you sign up with us.

Duration: 4 hours (includes a lunch break and regular breaks throughout),

Workshop 3: Embodied Affective Correspondences.
5 July 2020 1900 – 2100h JST
Led by June Lam

“Turning to queer Asian diasporas opens up forgotten histories of racialized intimacy within the received genealogies of liberal humanism, one largely defined by the dialectic of white-black race relations in the black Atlantic” David L Eng, The Feeling of Kinship

“Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from my body – from the experience of the ‘cellular body,’ and then from the act of squeezing that experience into a linear form. The feeling, the experience comes first; then there’s the naming of it, calling it into being.”  Deborah Hay

What does it mean to live with or take responsibility for a historical event that one has never actually experienced? How do we as queer diaspora restore affective correspondences in spite of intergenerational and epigenetic traumas? The workshop Embodied Affective Correspondences will explore possibilities for bringing the psychic space of ‘home’ into quarantine, using the language of gesture to bridge and restore the connective tissue of culture and selfhood. We will invite members of queer diaspora to share in developing their own invocation ritual, using the tools of exploratory touch, somatic learning and collective movement. 

Duration: 2 hours,

All free & with live captioning

This workshop is free and open to anyone. If you have any particular access requirement needs or would like more information, please contact us at

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