World Premiere of the “Powers That Be [210 Kilometers]”

World Premiere of The Powers That Be [210 Kilometers]

Live performance at the ANTI Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio, Finland

SEPTEMBER 4, 2105  

As the first winner of the 2014 ANTI International Prize for Live Art, I have returning to Kuopio, Finland, to present The Powers That Be [210 Kilometers].

Kuopio, Finland is located 210 kilometers from the Russian border. My new site specific performance addresses the proximity of the ANTI Festival to a country where queer and trans lives are acutely vulnerable and under siege, lacking any protection under civil law. The Powers That Be (210 Kilometers) is staged in a parking structure, with headlights and car radios providing lighting and sound for an intensely choreographed fight between myself and an invisible opponent.

Cassils_Powers That Be
Rehersal from The Powers That Be [210 Kilometers]. Photo: Pekka Mäkinen
How can we enact empathy across political divides and international borders to genuinely connect with the struggles of others whose lives we can “only imagine”? The Powers That Be (210 Kilometers) articulates a space for this inquiry, offering a shared experience of witnessing cycles of violence, struggle, and survival. This piece offers up a scene of violence that speaks to multiple cultural contexts, while marking the particularity of this space through a soundscape that samples local news clips, music and talk radio from both sides of the Finnish/Russian border.