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INVITATIONS
TOWARD
RE-WORLDING


Scores on
Gathering


Scored by Emily Johnson


Transcript


Rising Stomp 2021

This is us! This is the rising stomp! You’ve gotta feel the ground lift underneath your feet! This is Lenapehoking! [Cheers] What is your commitment to this land? [Cheers]

This is the rising stomp. Think: feet wide, knees bent, a lift. Think of the ground lifting up with you, beneath your feet …. this vibratory lift. The stomp is after the sound, the impact, the land. The spaces in-between: possibility, otherwise.

An unworlding. A reworlding. An invitation. A gathering.

Listen.

The rising stomp comes out of this year, of moving through grief, through rage, through possibility; of thinking forward into speculative architectures, of refusing imperialism, imposed geographies of domination, of living wholly sovereign, wholly abolitionist, wholly artist, wholly neighbour, wholly lover, wholly fire keeper, wholly delivery labour force, wholly mask-maker, wholly land defender, wholly holy holy. Sacred, our sonic processions of breath, of care, toward and with our human and more-than-human kin.

A more-than-year of multiple pandemics—COVID and the ongoing murder of Black people by police and government, the ongoing fight for abolition and justice that is in and with our breath, our blood, our hearts, the streets. Our ongoing fight against the settler colonial project, our insistence on the return of our Lands.

The rising stomp. This rising stomp.
An invitation to a reorientation.

____

This is Lenapehoking. This is Dena’ina Ethnina. This is nunat. This is Palestine. This is homeland.
This is where we come into being.
This land. These stars.
This is my body.

____

I perceive change and future as coming from inside body. Inward. Within. As in, it is something we make, meet, determine. Is the collective inside, a place we can gather to create an outward, together?

An invitation:
How do our cells become oriented to justice?

____

Marsha. Sylvia. Alexandra. Aliyah. Marione. Vivian Sula. Bella Marie. Yvonne. Jade. Tabitha. Mariella. Anna. Breonna. Tony. Muhlaysia. Beelove. Ashanti. Bailey. Nina. Monika. Layleen.

Missing and murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans, Two-Spirits, Black women, Black trans women, all women who have been killed in the ongoing genocide and extraction of women and femmes from Indigenous land, on Indigenous land. This settler colonial project doing exactly what it intends.

And how do I even say the names of all the young ones? Thousands. Taken. Found in unmarked graves. How old were you in 1996? When the last residential school closed?

____

This is the United States of America.
This is Canada.
Killing our children to bear itself.

Whose land do you occupy?

____

The refusal of the city where I live, where you live, the occupying governments, institutions, and many individuals across all land from wherever you are presently and back again, to decolonize and defund, is an act of ongoing genocide threaded through our everyday. At the same time we are overwhelmingly urged to simplify, separate, get over, and reduce our “several urgent political concerns” into pockets of information tolerated by the state, the institution, the curator, the whiteness...

Right now, the city where I live, New York City, wants to run a pipeline of fracked gas through neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, they want to build a wholesale BJ’s on the Graniteville Wetlands of Staten Island, they want to bulldoze fifty-eight acres, kill 1000 trees and every living thing in East River Park, they want to build more jails, upzone, and build luxury towers in the neighbourhoods of Gowanus, on Governor’s Island, the Seaport, Soho, Noho, and more.

All land and water protective efforts are related. Don’t you see?
We are intertwined, unconsumable.

Fuck the silos, the separations, the reductions, the removals, the thirst.

We disrupt your power, jostle your notion of “world.”
We ensure you are no longer the centre. We ensure us.

We are all of the frontlines.
Every one of us, every fight.
Gather here. Rise and stomp.

Name the missing and murdered and ongoing extraction as vile processes ensuring current power. Name the struggles, all of them, the resistance, the fight. Name the warriors, the leaders, the taken.

Defend our land. Protect our kin.
Feel the air fill your lungs.
Feel your feet, or your hands, or your head on the ground, where you are.

I am mother, daughter, sister, cousin, auntie, lover. From a million great-great-great grandmas, and whale too, and walrus, and seal, and tree, and this place where stars come to land.

I hold a fire on the Lower East Side every month, you are welcome to come.

This is my presidency: No presidency, no art, all art, all heart.
Gather here and give me this,

We.
Are the intermediaries between breath. Between air space. Between those who can breathe and move, and those who cannot anymore. We are not conjuring them. But we are conjuring joy of them. Offering it again and again and again, in respectful remembrance and protection. Until no more are taken from us.

This is my land.
These are my stars.
Not mine, but—you know what I mean.

The civil rights and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples will be recognized in relation to land. Power imbalance and extraction will not be the default relationship in our working lives. Theft of, and abuses on, and lack of recognition of Indigenous land, and water, and life will not be tolerated.

Feel the air fill your lungs.
Feel your feet or your hands, or your head, on the ground, where you are.
Feel your cells—each cell, orient to justice.

Announce care as your labour.
Protection as your everyday.
Non-extraction as your ethic.

Refuse racist and extractive institutions, and governments, and projects; your time, knowledge, money. Return all our belongings.

Gather here

Give our land back.
Give our land back.
__________

LOVE TO KARYN RECOLLET, EVER COLLABORATOR; ZACH CRUMRINE, SOUND ENGINEER AND SUPPORT; AND EILEEN MYLES WHO OFFERED FEEDBACK. THANK YOU ALSO, TO THE PROJECT ORGANIZERS.

EMILY JOHNSON, RISING STOMP 2021, FROM ARTISTS-IN-PRESIDENTS: TRANSMISSIONS TO POWER, A PROJECT BY CONSTANCE HOCKADAY, COMMISSIONED BY THE BLACKWOOD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

More on Emily Johnson



Image description: The words “GATHER HERE” are written in black marker backwards and forwards on a gray background.

GATHER HERE by Emily Johnon
2020, commissioned by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA in collaboration with National YoungArts Foundation for the Choreographer's Scores (2020) print portfolio.


Image description: Emily Johnson pictured in front of a black background. She wears silver earrings.

Emily Johnson
She/Her/Hers
Lenapehoking/Manahatta, New York, NY

Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. She is a land and water protector and an activist for justice, sovereignty, and well-being. A Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award, she is based in Lenapehoking / New York City. Johnson is of the Yup’ik Nation, and since 1998, has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances function as portals and care processions. They engage audienceship within and through space, time, and environment—interacting with a place’s architecture, peoples, history, and role in building futures. Johnson is trying to make a world where performance is part of life; where performance is an integral part of our connection to each other, our environment, our stories, our past, present, and future.




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