Understanding the legacies that live inside us

May 26, 2015

How are you, dear one? 

 

It has been a rich, challenging and rewarding nine months. Grad school has engaged me deeply and the creative fire is burning bright. I am honoured to live on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, BC). This place slowly becomes "home", the ocean winds and tall trees whispering stories in new/ancient ways.

 

I have been granted generous funding that allows me to spend this summer researching, interviewing and writing the play that will be my thesis. What a privilege to get to do what I love. I count my blessings many times a day.

 

I am really excited about this next creative venture and want to share my intentions for it with you!

 

I am creating a theatrical experience that at the moment I'm calling The Mareshah Cycle. The Cycle examines “postmemory,” a term describing the relationship that the generation after bears to a collective experience of those who came before. 

 

My research investigates the immigration of Ashkenazi Jews to Canada, focusing on my maternal grandfather’s immigration from Plunge, Lithuania to Montreal, Quebec in 1923. Check out he and my Bubby in the photo below. Aren't they sweet?

 

It is believed that occurrences, especially those as significant as immigration, are transferred deeply enough to establish memories of their own in subsequent generations. I am exploring the subjective and illusive nature of truth in regards to memory and family history.

 

As you probably know, I most often create immersive experiences in which the “audience” is an active participant. The Mareshah Cycle will include an immersive one-act Documentary/hybrid stage play, followed by a choice of workshop with a local cultural collaborator. There will be song, there will be food, there will be reflection and celebration.

 

In this process, I am investigating how I can actively engage with the ethics and aesthetics of remembrance.

 

How might I carry forth the history of my ancestors without appropriating it? In Documentary forms, how does the writer’s subjectivity affect the reconstruction of the past?

 

My hope is that The Mareshah Cycle will contribute to the documentation, preservation and dialogue surrounding the immigration and legacy of Jews in Canada, while illuminating how legacy lives inside us all, regardless of cultural background.

 

Do you have questions? Thoughts? 

 

Do you know just the person I should speak to about this project? 

 

I would love to hear from you.

 

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© 2019 Sasha Singer-Wilson

all rights reserved.

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