Call for Island Steward collaborators (paid position)

Artist collaborators Zavé Martohardjono, Ube Halaya, Raha Behnam, x, Marielys Burgos Meléndez, Julia Santoli & Proteo Media + Performance are making an evening-length ritual-based performance and multimedia installation, TERRITORY: The Island Remembers, to premiere at Gibney 280 with three evenings of performance on April 7-9, 2022 and installation hours open to the public for free on April 5-9, 2022 from 12-3pm.

TERRITORY: The Island Remembers is multidisciplinary project that is organized around a parable: An island is split by a colonial border. One side is home to an indigenous community who’ve resisted invasion and capitalism. Autonomous from Western empire, they thrive culturally and environmentally, living in harmony with the island’s five deity-guardians (Memento Mori, Ultimate Disaster, Bao, the Seeker, the Simorgh), and the natural elements, flora, and fauna of the island. The other island side is rampant with inequity from endless dynamics of European colonization. When Ultimate Disaster strikes the island to wake people to the mounting harms of racial capitalism, climate change, and colonial oppression, the autonomous people, deities, and wildlife lead a mutual aid revolution to steward the island to its freedom and health. Who among the colonized will break rank and join this interdependent fight? Everybody’s future requires a reunion of divided sides.

We are seeking facilitators!

We are looking for three artist-facilitators to fill the role of Island Stewards who will: 

  • Facilitate engagement with audiences visiting the installation and participating in actions;
  • Facilitate audience contributions and participation during the three performances; 
  • Lead community outreach with local organizations and projects doing work that is aligned with this project.

Covid safety practices will be honored during project development and showings. Read on for more about process, ethics, and the history of how we’ve been creating a collaborative process.


Please apply if the below aligns with your interest + availability:

  • Calling BIPOC QTPOC to the front! 🙂
  • You’re interested in or familiar with art-making that engages questions of care for the land and ancestral and land rituals.
  • You’re free for approximately 50 hrs of paid rehearsals from late February through early April on Sundays, Thursdays, and some Mondays.
  • You have capacity to be in-person at Gibney 280 during most of the installation open hours. Those hours are 12-3pm from Tuesday, April 5, through Saturday, April 9.
  • You have capacity to be in-person at Gibney 280 during all performances from 7-10pm on Thursday, April 7, through Saturday, April 9.
  • Hourly compensation: $20/hr

If this call out is speaking to you and sparks interest, curiosity, joy, please email zavé at preferably before January 24, 2022 to set up a time to talk.

Process, ethics + history

TERRITORY has taken many forms. zavé began in 2017-18 doing solo ritual performances and creating a fictional museum exhibit installation displaying artifacts of the parable island. Raha joined in 2019 to make a duet. Ube joined in early 2020 as TERRITORY shifted to a group work. Marielys, x, Julia and Proteo Media + Performance joined in 2021. See documentation of earlier iterations of the work.

Collaborating artists are working together to develop the parable and production concepts for the multimedia installation, ritual and choreographic actions for live performance, and screenplay material for film elements. A core part of the process is to co-create TERRITORY by bringing our ideas, desires, cultures, and ancestries into the work with care and support. Indonesian, Iranian, Filipinx/Tagalog, Jamaican-Chinese, Arawak-Borikén mythologies shape the characters that zavé, Raha, Ube, x, and Marielys are developing and which reflect their cultural histories.

Knowing co-creative processes cannot be perfect, zavé as lead artist is shaping one that is intentionally imbued with agreements, communication, and other tools and supports to assess artists’ need along the way. So far the creative process invites complex, difficult, and care-full conversations about current collaborators’ identities, ancestors, and specific positions as settlers of color. As artists of color separated from our ancestral homelands, cultures, and languages, and searching for ancestral stories/mythologies to bring into the work, we’ve discussed how it brings up the pain of assimilation. Yet, this work is about liberation, cultural preservation, and self-empowerment.

More recently, the late-stage capitalist story we are living is shaping TERRITORY. In global economic crisis, pandemic, we deal with failing governments, healthcare, and broken social systems. At the same time, anti-police uprisings spread from Minneapolis to Hong Kong to Myanmar to Colombia. The pandemic has created possibility for the air, wildlife, and land to regain health. And for mutual aid networks, rent strikes, and street-based revolutions to bloom. These living histories of crisis and community-building and collective survival shape the parable.

To respond to the time we are in, TERRITORY asks complex questions: How do we grapple with the divisions we are implicated in? What ancestral technologies can we resurface to build interdependent futures?

on January 10 • by

Comments are closed.