Borders are not merely a geopolitical phenomenon. Borders, like all spatial phenomena, are both physical and mental thing. As such, they are not only barriers, but portals. Borders are epistemological, temporal and biophysical. They deeply affect, inform and shape people’s lived ontologies. As such, borders have significant connotations including partitions and fragmentation, spatial organization, temporality, relationality, and travel and migration, and the possibility of hybridization.
“Borders” is a practice-as research project; a power duo of music, video and dance performance in collaboration with Argentinian, U.S.-based composer and experimental music artist Federico Llach. The project began at the through an encounter in the Global Arts Studies Program at the University of California at Merced that inspired Federico and Tawanda to seek ways to creatively acknowledge and elaborate a relationship to the geographical, urban, racial and economic boundaries existent in the city of Merced and California’s Central Valley.
Having presented the project at the New Music Gathering (NMG2020), it has evolved into a community-engaged project investigating methodologies and possibilities of creative practice, making with communities and negotiating matters of belonging, citizenship and social justice with plans to continue and deepen to include the El Paso – Jaures space along the Mexico-U.S. border. The ongoing performance-research project thus works with and includes communities, and it harnesses the multi-faceted potential of “the border” as a signifier to mobilize an artistic intervention that also transgresses imagined borders between creative genres.