A short delayed farewell… I left Barcelona last week for London briefly, then a few days in France, and I’m now back in London so I’ve been thinking about departures, farewells and journeys – and arrivals. My performance reading of two of my stories at the JIWAR Open Studio on 10 August played with this theme through intercultural interactions against a backdrop of the contemporary era, with allusion to some of the themes I have touched on in these blog entries: death, the importance of communication, and love.
Whilst at JIWAR I was working on stories towards a novella, and the particular section that I experimented with in the last few days, after the open studio, explores concepts of ‘the other’. In my academic work I make use of Critical Race Theory, as this has helped to make sense of the workings of racism, as it encroaches on my life within institutions, and within day to day interactions. Time away from the UK has allowed me to explore these critical issues through fictional prose, and also to receive the warmth of the local community’s response to my work at JIWAR.
The photograph is of the set for my performance reading on 10 August at JIWAR – a sequin-scattered table, a glass, a candlestick, a Roman fan, some illustrations from the stories, and books: Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, Rodoreda’s A Broken Mirror, and Badiou’s In Praise of Love. The door beyond opens, a female voice is singing the Pete Seeger song, ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’…, and when she sits down, then the stories unfold.
Thank you for reading. Until we meet again…
Namita Elizabeth Chakrabarty