Sweep speaks about our connections to land and homeland via the body. It is a piece which emerges from questions I have about the relationship of the body to land and the nation in the context of current waves of forced and chosen immigration and migration at local, national and international levels. This performance is designed to happen in conjunction with participants from the local community. The size and location of the performance itself changes depending upon the specific locale.
In this performance a group of women carry heavy vessels on their heads. The vessels may be plastic, metal or enamel containers. They are of the variety used for washing, carrying foodstuffs or holding goods at market. Each vessel is filled with dirt and a small broom. The performers lower the vessels, spilling the dirt onto the ground. Using their hands the dirt is spread out before them. The women use their bodies to make impressions into this form, this temporary parcel of land. Feet and hands mark the makeshift earth. Then the impressions are swept away. They lay face down in the dirt, moving and shifting to leave more body marks. Between each impression the dirt is swept to disappear the trace. After several iterations of this body marking the dirt is returned to the vessels. The performers again lift the heavy containers up to their heads and exit in the slow manner that they arrived.
Photographer: Samiya Bashir