Cataleco is a solo of others, inspired by the experience of living and working as a volunteer with the Arts & Culture Foundation in the city of Huambo in Angola. “Cataleco” means “go and see there” in the language of Umbundu, one of the many local native languages that has been disappearing in the region. The solo work “Cataleco” understands the body as a documentary instrument, an archive, a container that floods the surfaces of the space through speech and physical presence.
The challenge in “Cataleco” is in cultivating a capability of continuously visiting memories and their temporal duality once the body extracts them from their original time into the present through the ephemerality of the performing arts. The work is more than the personal process of digesting an experience; it is about humanness as an interpersonal web, about life as an exercise for the muscles of the heart which always desires to expand.
Cataleco is an unfinished work, first performed at Porch X-tended in Bethaninen, Berlin in May 2014. A reworked version was presented in June 2014 at Ponderosa /Stolzenhagen (DE).
Research and Performance: Mor Demer
Video: Mor Demer
Matan Friedman, Miriam Kishinovski, Fundação arte e cultura, Christina, Kambolé & Poderosa e.V.
Fundação Arte e Cultura
Living the lifestyle of a freelance and traveling artist means to constantly be confronted with oneself and become both the object and the subject of the creative process. As I established my emerging artistic practice, this ever-present autobiographical artist lifestyle disquieted me internally and ethically. My intentions to share life experiences through art and movement were left unfulfilled. This, together with myself-directed learning and ongoing research of “art as a way of life” led me to the country of Angola. Despite personal questions and ethical dilemmas, I decided to volunteer with the Arts & Culture Foundation in the city of Huambo in Angola, from August 2013 until March 2014. Over the course of 27 years, Angola was caught up in a violent civil war. The city of Huambo was a central point for the fighting, which left a lasting imprint and deep scars on the streets and in the people.
In this way, I encountered a rare opportunity for close dialogue with the community. This dialogue informed my volunteer work as a facilitator in different projects with distinctly different demographic populations. My need to understand and foster proximity and trust demanded that I learn both Portuguese and Umbundu. As I sought authenticity, the people of Huambo and the encounter with them made mean active listener of their environment. This connection allowed me to observe and redefine my own perceptions, world-views and expectations. In this way, my time in Angola became a transformative and profound life experience. While volunteering and creating “Cataleco”, I chose not to address the global politics of aid organizations but rather engage with more interpersonal and human aspects.