THE STORIES WE TELL
ABOUT THE PROJECT
"Crossroads" is a multi-layered landscape narrative that explores the textures and tensions of one of America's most iconic and contested sites, the plantation. Facilitated in collaboration with Louisiana artists, residents, storytellers, and dancing historians, the project reimagines history and history-telling through the words and movements of many and asks what is at stake as we move ahead. Provocatively current, while hearkening back the roots of who we have become as a nation, Crossroads seeks a path forward. It's about a place, a symbol, and the seed of modern culture.
ABOUT THE PROCESS
Participants engaged in the site as investigators, performers, storytellers and arbiters of actions and ideas and have contributed to the work through his/her own movement vocabulary and/or with his/her own words. By decentralizing the narratives around history, we seek to develop a richer, more empowered narrative structure. Workshops included a combination of improvisational exercises, choreography, and writing. Participant feedback has been essential in guiding the process. The culminating film elicits an embodied cultural and collective memory from present-day perspectives and represents a shifting perspective/aesthetic in how we view the historical site.
The workshop phase of The Stories We Tell took place after an investigation into the evolving narrative landscape around Louisiana plantations, including prolonged site visits, tours, archives, literature, interviews conducted with historians, tour guides, visitors, and local community members and descendants. The movement workshops were also a key element of the research and will help to addresses some of the challenges of history telling by placing the work within a larger context of communal storytelling; all with a focus on shifting the center and setting forth a method for future investigation into social, cultural and evolutionary landscapes.
"When I first heard 'plantation' I got real defensive." (Participant)
During the process of Crossroads many participants chose to create their own narratives. Here you will find a growing collection of thoughts, stories, and reflections on the plantation site, its history, and it's significance. These narratives were created through direct contact with the site and come in many forms.