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MEMORY LAB

Katt Lissard

Upcoming & Ongoing Work

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Memory of a Drowning Landscape

 

Community, Performance, and Regeneration

Next Residency:  December 6th-18th, 2017    

Roma and the Malealea Valley, Lesotho

In April, 2016 the first phase of an experiment to perform the resonance of place began in Lesotho, southern Africa.  Memory of a Drowning Landscape built on the work of the Split the Village project, trying to articulate the global threat of climate change by looking at local loss.

In collaboration with students and colleagues from the National University of Lesotho’s Theatre Unit, we began to explore the intangible cultural heritage lost to communities visually, acoustically and orally along the flooded Phuthiatšana River Valley in rural Lesotho – the end result of the construction of the Metolong Dam.  We started by playing with ideas of giving and receiving directions to places that are dependent on disappearing landmarks and flexible concepts of time.  

Creating Community Conversation

 

Weekend Residency in Chattanooga, Tennessee

August 2017

The Winter/Summer Institute has been making theatre and making a difference since 2006. We usually work in Lesotho, southern Africa and NYC, but this summer we are teaming up with folks in Chattanooga for a  3-day weekend residency in "Creating Community Conversations." Through workshops, dialogue, and play-making, we will explore current social issues that affect the lives of Tennessee residents and our country as a whole. 

Co-sponsored by the Chattanooga State Community College Theatre Department, and working with local community arts and advocacy groups, this residency will bring our collaborative theatre-making process to a region that, like our country as a whole, is deeply divided along political, religious, class, and racial lines.

 

Lesotho, Africa

 

Much of my recent artistic work/life has been connected to Lesotho, Africa. Since January 2005, when I arrived on my first Fulbright to teach, research and direct shows at the National University in Roma, I’ve been navigating the tricky cultural terrain of the small, mountainous country and making collaborative projects there involving students, colleagues, professional performers, NGO staff and members of rural village communities. My time in Lesotho continues to transform the way I look at and understand the world. My creative work is an attempt to take those disparate observations, stories, lessons, absurdities and incongruities and feed them into performance, writing and community projects. One form that has taken is a performance, installation & archive project exploring the global impact of local loss called Split the Village.

Split the Village uses performance and installation to capture the essence of place and begin to build a transitory cultural archive. The project’s inspiration is a 14 kilometer stretch of the Phuthiatšana River valley in rural Lesotho which was flooded in late 2014 when construction of the Metolong Dam was complete.

 

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The spiraling Aloe polyphylla, pictured at the right and above, grows up to three feet across and is native only to the mountains of Lesotho. Like the country itself, it is unique and endangered.