Friday, October 13, 2017 at 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Barnes Hall, Auditorium
129 Ho Plaza Cornell University: Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Set in a time of Sri Lanka’s move toward political reconciliation, ‘My Other History’ explores the idea of reconciliation as a moment of remembrance, a process of letting go, an act of listening as much as that of confrontation. While emphasis is placed on a reconciliation that is political and collective and pivots sometimes on a notion of moving forward that does not acknowledge its past, this is the story of the personal. ‘My Other History’ is set in the present, while referring to a past that plays out through the memory of a young man and his conversation with his mother who tries to connect her son to his past, and to what is her history. It hints at the history of a people denied of land, memory and life; it touches on a family’s sense of belonging in the context of their experience of displacement and their understandings of being patriotic or even their ability to love their country.
Awarded the Sunethra Bandaranaike Trust Grant 2011, ‘My Other History’ was written by Jake Oorloff and presented as part of (Un)making Time; a project to support new theatre-making initiated by the Sunethra Bandaranaike Trust. Reconciliation was the theme suggested by the Trust, and the performance focuses on a history and experience of displacement and dislocation as a result of war in Sri Lanka. The inspiration for the script was found in a short text titled ‘Home Town Jaffna’ written by D. Subramaniam, who was forced out of his home due to the conflict in the area of Jaffna were he lived. The plot follows his travel to Colombo and eventual return to his place of origin.This performance is in conjunction with the Sri Lanka Graduate Student Conference at Cornell on October 14, co-sponsored by the South Asia Program, the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies, and the Society for the Humanities.
Floating Space Theatre Company was founded by Ruhanie Perera and Jake Oorloff in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2007, in an inter-disciplinary artistic, teaching and research context to explore possibilities and question perceived limits in performance. During the fall semester, both Ruhanie Perera and Jake Oorloff are in residence as South Asian Studies Fellows with Cornell’s South Asia Program. They are spending their time in Ithaca on a project entitled, “Archiving Practice: Reflecting on Floating Space Theatre Company’s Performance-Making Approaches and Politics in the Context of the Conflict and Cultural Landscape of Sri Lanka.”