Freedom of Movement?

The Art of Walking by Pankaj Tiwari

Moving image, running time, 12 mins

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The Art of Walking is a performative project that raises awareness in Europe and beyond about the ongoing struggle of migrant labourers displaced after the COVID-19 lockdown in India and that have been walking long distances from big cities to their native villages. After waiting for a few weeks for transport; millions of people started walking, walking long distances, for days, weeks, months; from 400 to 2200 km. Some died on the way, some lost their children, some got killed by a train, few survived to reach home.

The walk from Amsterdam to Calais connects the crisis in India to an ongoing humanitarian crisis across the world that spells privilege, as much as it spells dispossession, loss and homelessness. The artists documented the walk, the performance, and the conversations as they walked, and as a final act, a meal was cooked, shared, and eaten together with the Calais migrants upon arrival.

The Art of Walking seeks to create space for conversation, and exercise an urgent role and function of art in the time of crisis.

Pankaj Tiwari is a theatre maker and curator from Balarampur, India. He is currently a participant at DASTheatre, Amsterdam. He completed his previous  master's in Society and Culture from IIT Gandhinagar, India. Currently, Pankaj works as Co-curator with Theatre Gessnerallee, Zurich. Between 2011 and 2018, he worked as creative director for “The Fotons”, India. He is also part of a collective called Inquilaab(2019), Amsterdam.

He is founder of Current: a space, Amsterdam, which curates performances and works to build a new audience and a culture of intersectionality. Pankaj uses theatre, food and farming as a medium for community building.

He has worked as theatre facilitator, consultant and educator with various institutes/organisations.  He was invited to be part of 4TH IETM Croatia (2018), Theatre Spektakel (2019), Bread and Puppet Theatre (2018), Imaginary School for the future of Performing Arts, Giessen (2019), to be in the jury for Belluard Festival Switzerland (2020). Pankaj is also invited to curate a space at theatre Spektakel Zurich (2020).

He is also curating a festival around Object, Memory and Migration for the University of Minnesota 2020-21


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