From 2016 to 2018, Lois will be undertaking research as an Engaging Science Fellow with the Wellcome Trust, considering new ways that might help more of us come together. She plans to experiment and create comfortable spaces for public discussion, such as Long Tables, Porch Sittings and the developing Care Cafe, which resist hierarchies, foster inclusion and value lived experience as expertise.
THE LIBRARY OF PERFORMING RIGHTS
This ongoing project focuses on the importance of human rights activism in the context of globalisation and violent conflict. The library form connects diverse geographical contexts while insisting on the importance of context-specificity. The Library of Performing Rights contains publications, videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs, brochures, digital and web-based initiatives. All of these materials can be transported, reassembled and re-contextualised in each location they are installed.
The Library of Performing Rights is a traveling archive. It collects materials related to human rights activism, but it also provides a context for dialogue and face-to-face encounter. It is a deeply collaborative project with international scope. Recently, the Library traveled to Brazil, in a collaboration with Rio-based Videoteca Panorama. The project was initiated in 2006 at Performance Studies international #12: Performing Rights, held at Queen Mary, University of London. It was developed in collaboration with Lois Weaver and the Live Art Development Agency.
Simultaneously entertaining, seductive and challenging of received ideas about what femininity is and can do, the FeMUSEum brings together four generations of performance artists (Lois Weaver, Bird la Bird, Amy Lamé and Carmelita Tropicana) to pay tribute to the lineage and legacy of performance and femininity. With exhibits of each artists’ individual femme muses on display, the FeMUSEum shows how femme visibility is a public issue.
FeMUSEum is both a live event and an exhibition project. Individually and as a group, the four ‘curators’ of the FemMUSEum tells us what femininity and performance means to them. These meanings are often complex and unexpected, but always lively and compelling. Even when alone onstage, none of these legendary performers is ever alone; a legion of femme muses cheers from the wings. From Dolly Parton to Marlene Dietrich, Kate Bornstein to Polly Styrene, a community of challenging and queer inspiration emerges.
The FeMUSEum was commissioned by the AHRC-funded project Performance Matters, for the Trashing Performance symposium, and has travelled to New York’s Dixon Place.
THE MANIFESTO ROOM
The Manifesto Room is a space for polemics to be both generated and disseminated. Initially designed to accompany conferences or events, the Manifesto Room joins action with more reflective or analytical activities. It is also a model for collaboration, which allows artists/thinkers/activists to co-curate the space and address both form and content. The Manifesto Room was initiated at Performance Studies international 12: Performing Rights, at Queen Mary, University of London.