Memory, Urban Violence and Performance is a research project exploring how people in different social and spatial locations remember and forget the losses inflicted by urban violence. It examines the side of inner city violence that escapes official reports. How, we ask, do victims of violence from different and social and spatial locations in Jamaican communities mourn, remember and forget the losses inflicted by violence. We search for answers to this question in the tensions and conflicts underlying performances such as: protests against police violence, vigils, elite social spectacles, dance and drama.
What might we learn from these performances about how communities and individuals simultaneously justify and resist the reproduction of inner city violence and how might this inform efforts to address the injustices underlying it?
Combining collaborative art-making practices, performance, participatory inputs from activist and community organizations as well as more conventional qualitative research methods such as oral testimonies, interviews and focus groups has developed the resources displayed.
OBJECTIVES OF THIS RESEARCH
- Document the ways in which communities perform their responses to violence in practices of remembering and forgetting
- Analyze these performances against official responses to them in court rooms, inquiries and/or media reports
- Create a methodological approach which combines performance theory and practice as a mode of inquiry
- Collaborate with community organizations and individuals actively involved in and committed to violence prevention
- Include participants from differing social and spatial locations
- Analyze the relationship between mourning, memory and the reproduction of urban violence
Honor Ford-Smith, PhD.
Community and Environmental Arts
Faculty of Environmental Studies
4700 Keele St,
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Owais Lightwala, a Theatre Student at York University, is the technician and resource person on all technical matters related to the project.
Camille Turner, a Masters Candidate at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, created this website for the project and has assisted with the production, a Vigil for Roxy.
Anique Jordan, a Masters Candidate at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, developed the current iteration of the site and assisted with the production and documentation of a Vigil for Roxy
RESEARCH ASSISTANTS: YORK UNIVERSITY
Tanisha Sri Bhaggiyadatta
Owen Blakka Ellis
Carmen Cecilia Ocampo Velazquez
RESEARCH ASSISTANTS: JAMAICA
PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN TEAM
SPECIAL ADVISORS ON DESIGN
Camilo Rivero Fis
Community Arts Practice, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Toronto, Canada
Curtis Daley’s Carpentry Shop, Hannah Town, Kingston, Jamaica
Denham Town Cultural Group, Kingston, Jamaica
Jamaica School of Drama, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts,
Grants Penn Cultural Group, Kingston, Jamaica
Hannah Town Cultural Group, Kingston, Jamaica
Jamaicans for Justice, Kingston, Jamaica
Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts, Toronto, Canada
Peace Management Initiative, Kinston, Jamaica
Sistren Theatre Collective, Kingston, Jamaica
Taller Ennegro, Palma Soriano, Cuba
Rockfort Cultural Group, Kingston, Jamaica
Violence Prevention Alliance, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica