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Forthcoming (Not Yet Here, But Always Been There)

Devika Chotoe responds with a performance to patricia kaersenhout’s exhibition in CBK Zuidoost. In this exhibition a central role is played by kaersenhouts’s new film Le retour des femmes colibris in which she stages a fictional meeting with Josephine Baker, Suzanne Césaire, Christiane Diop, Frida Kahlo, and Paulette and Jeanne Nardal – all women who played a key, if not also invisible, role within the Négritude movement.

Devika Chotoe with Anne Jesuina and Paula Montecinos

“These places of possibility within ourselves are dark, because they are ancient and hidden: they have survived and grown strong through that darkness. Within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. The woman’s place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface: it is dark, it is ancient and it is deep” (Audre Lorde)

Within the context of her fellowship at If I Can’t Dance, Devika was invited to intervene into artist patricia kaersenhout’s exhibition The Third Dimension at CBK Zuidoost. The exhibition consists of a selection of beautifully executed series of work, in a range of media and spanning several decades. The show highlight’s kaersenhout’s relentless commitment to retrieving forgotten and erased stories, showing how the bodies and lives of black women have been rendered invisible, or conversely, eroticised, in official histories and representations. Kaersenhout’s work reassembles existing images, materials and narratives, stitching and puzzling them into new imaginaries and narratives that reveal how history is malleable; it can be reformalized and rewritten so as to revisit the past in order to reconfigure understandings of the present.

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In this interview, Devika Chotoe, Anne Jesuina and Paula Montecinos share their thoughts on three aspects of Forthcoming (Not Yet Here, But Always Been There): its fore-fronting of a non-linear concept of time and history; what darkness means to them; and how the call-and-response structure functions throughout the piece. Along-side the interview are a glimpse into the rich audio register of the piece. ›››


Excerpts of soundscape of Forthcoming (Not Yet Here, But Always Been There) by Paula Montecinos. Sound assistance by Leroy Chaar. ›››

Paula Montecinos sound set-up for Forthcoming (Not Yet Here, But Always Been There).

Devika Chotoe (b.1992, lives in Amsterdam) (she/they), is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and community organizer. Devika’s work emerges from a concern for justice and a desire to heal and transform embodied systemic oppression. The aim being self and collective empowerment. She thus views her artistic processes as resistance praxis: a space for resilience where notions of care, support, vulnerability and healing are centred and form the main conditions for constructing processes of transformation and its embodiment. A main emphasis in Devika’s research is unfolding the ongoing impact of Dutch colonialism on communities of colour in the metropole, with a special focus on the (queer) histories of Indian and Indo-Surinamese migratory trajectories.

Devika graduated from the School for New Dance Development (SNDO) in 2022 and is currently holding a position as Junior Curator at CBK Zuidoost. Next to that she writes reviews for the Theaterkrant and contributes to community organizing as the co-founder of the foundation Hindostaans & Queer.

For more information: www.devikachotoe.com

Image: Devika Chotoe in Forthcoming (Not Yet Here, But Always Been There), 2022, performance. Photo: Temra Pavlovic.

Anne Jesuina (Shey/They), is an interdisciplinary artist of Dutch and Afro-Brazilian descent. After researching mechanisms of oppression at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands, she realized that in order to transform oppressive systems the body needs to be addressed and re-spected, as a fundamental site of knowledge. Anne Jesuina combines written word, music, voice, moving image, movement and performance to reveal the invisibilized socio-somatic grammar of white ‘supremacy’ culture. Her work is in service of finding healing possibilities to tend to individual and our collective wounds and to find new places of power. Anne Jesuina is currently in their second year of the Master Ecologies of Transformation at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

Image: Anne Jesuina in Forthcoming (Not Yet Here, But Always Been There), 2022, performance. Photo: Temra Pavlovic.

Paula Montecinos is Chilean choreographer, sound artist and researcher, grounding her research in the affordances of live-sound performance, with an embodied, decolonial and technofeminist approach. Her artistic practice embraces the physical and spatial dynamics of sonic experience, unfolding the performativity of sounds along the crafting of analog electronics, somatics, experimental vocals and written matter. Her work navigates hybrid formats of sonic choreographies, radiophonic concerts, sonic readings and installations, linking listening to words, bodies and vibrations. Paula is a current fellow at THIRD research group, and teaches somatic movement laboratories approaching the transformative potential of touch and rhythmic materialities of the body to enact social change.

Image: Paula Montecinos in Forthcoming (Not Yet Here, But Always Been There), 2022, performance. Photo: Temra Pavlovic.