Performing Resilience

Alice Koubová
20 min Presentation + 20 min Discussion
Jaana Erkkilä-Hill
Performing resilience is a collaborative project between Czech Academy of Sciences and the dance group TANTEHORSE. The fundamental project was to investigate resilience through dance choreographies and reflective work as both concept useful in the needed paradigmatic shift and a practice enabling us to cope with adverse situations and contribute to their solutions. Resilience is neither resistance nor resignation: it contradicts learned hopelessness, works with vulnerability, and sensitively helps avoiding trauma and self-destructive behavior in a moment of uncertainty, risk, and complexity. Resilience theory operates within networks of stakeholders through the design of profoundly multilayer and robust measures. Our one-year project created such network of agents and shared the gained knowledge widely within the Czech society. The project consisted of 1. workshops held by environmental scientists, psychologists, sociologists, and political theorists 2. choreographies created in specific geopolitical spaces 3. the immersive site-specific performance lecture “Let’s Connect Yesterday,” which balanced a dance performance and an academic lecture in Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences 4. a published booklet explaining the principles of resiliences, new knowledge gained through the artistic research process, interviews with the creators, and vocabulary 5. participatory practice introduced to the audience members of the performance lecture reactivating their own individual capacities to contribute to thesustainable community social solutions to the current social and geopolitical crises 6. interviews in media 7. the conference “Facets of Resilience,’ organized in the frame of the Czech EU Council Presidency, where the performance lecture is presented together with scientific program and NGO workshops This project has had a strong impact in the Czech public space and contributed to change of mindset from the duality strong–weak towards resilience in performance through art.

Alice Koubová

Alice Koubová works as a senior researcher at the Academy of Sciences, vise-dean at the Academy of Performing Arts, active performer and dramaturgist. As a phenomenologist and post-structuralist thinker, she authored among others Play and Democracy (Routledge), Self-Identity and Powerlessness (Brill), Artistic Research- Is there Some Method? (NAMU) and several diviced theatre performances and performance lectures. For 2 last years she has developed and coordinated several scientific, philosophical, activist and artistic projects on resilience.