‘How to Be Afraid?’ (Mary Pearson/ Mayfield Brooks) is back in residency at Metal and The Bluecoat in 2020, thanks to funding from Arts Council England. In collaboration with Migrant Artists’ Mutual Aid, we will present a symposium event that shares performance projects, methods and impact related to social repair and radical peacebuilding. Proximity: New Directions in Art and Social Repair at the Bluecoat, June 2020.
How to Be Afraid? is a duet performance that explores our separate but connected histories of the transatlantic slave trade, finding hauntings in our current psyches.
We stage verbalized duels, choreograph scare tactics or, come to tears and laughter as a practice toward SEEING — with hopes that engaging audiences with this work will allow all of us to see together. In this SEEING we might find respite, and learn, How to Be Afraid.
We study how history warps memory in real time and even in our relationship, and we seek healing knowing that there are no solutions. However, our separate but connected historical realities inform us of the journey towards repair work and eventually reparations.
R&D first took place at Metal Culture, Liverpool in 2017, funded by Arts Council England.
Mayfield Brooks improvises while black, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Mayfield is a movement-based performance artist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. they studied contemporary dance at the school for new dance (sndo) in Amsterdam, moving on center in Oakland, CA, and holds a MFA in interdisciplinary performance from UC Davis and a masters in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Mayfield is currently a 2017 artist in residence at movement research in NYC, was a 2018 wow/uny artist in residence at Governor’s island, a 2019 dance and process artist at the kitchen, and has performed & taught nationally and internationally.
Mary Pearson (USA/UK) is a multidisciplinary performance maker based in Liverpool, working with dance improvisation, comedy, visual art, voice, and experimental theatre. Solo works toured in the UK and internationally 2012-2018. Her latest solo, FoMO, mofos! (Fear of Missing Out Motherf***ers!) was made during a Time and Space residency at Metal Liverpool, with funding from Arts Council England. Mary has trained, performed and mentored at Ponderosa P.O.R.C.H.(Germany), and has taught FAILURE lab improvisation and performance workshops in universities and art spaces in the UK, US, Germany and Croatia. Her current research is on collective embodied trauma.