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M.I.C has joined the Border Statement: China-Burma (Myanmar) Community Arts Initiative. Border Statements utilizes contemporary art practice – performance, photography, video, sculpture, painting, bookmaking, public art, and music – as alternative cultural preservation and public/peer education strategies for citizen engagement in marginalized communities. Their primary initiative is located on the China side of the China-Burma border, where discrimination against ethnic minorities, outward migration and human trafficking, drug trafficking and incarceration, and the AIDS epidemic results in young people growing up without adequate parental guidance or community support.
Last week we joined The Other Half. This theater/circus company based out of London came as special guests to perform and conduct a series of workshops as part of the Border Statement initiative. The community at the China-Burma border has had the opportunity to work with photographers, hip-hop artists and painters. But this was the first time that skilled laugh and circus masters had come to the village to spread laughter. The men, women and children enjoyed having a laugh- British style-learned how to juggle and built the biggest human pyramid in Yunnan province. The participants closed the two-day workshops with an amazing performance showcasing their learned skills at break dancing and acrobatics.
It was a pleasure to document such an active community and experience the talent of veteran performers and mentors. It was particularly bizarre and hilarious to see the Other Half breaking with the village’s routine as they strolled down the dirt roads dressed in the strictest British garment and offered people tea. The villagers were taken by surprise in the middle of their afternoon nap.
Expect the video soon! And look out for more updates on our documentation of artists working with the Border Statement initiative.