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Unsettled is a participatory dance-theatre project that explores how human migration shapes identity and community. Through a process of co-creation, Unsettled engages local artists and participants in the development of live performances that weave together personal narrative, music, movement and poetry to center the experiences of individuals from communities that find themselves “unsettled.” With field research underway since 2022, over the next four years, the Unsettled performances will premiere in five diverse regions powerfully shaped by human migration: in New York, the arrival of ‘migrants’ in recent years has been framed as a crisis; L’Aquila has faced the mass exodus of its youth following a devastating earthquake; Perth’s legacy of forced migration continues to affect its indigenous communities; families in Kyiv must make impossible choices about whether to leave behind the men who are required to stay for military service; and the Canary Islands marks the arrival point of one of the world’s most dangerous sea crossings. Employing the languages of the body and the voice, cacophonous tongues wax poetic and bear their souls as a mass of bodies hurtle, trudge, sail, roll, fly, crash, run, crawl–post-modern-dancing through blinding light, weighty darkness, the known and unknown, to flee disaster or conflict, to follow a dream or a heart. Sojourners meet with the oddness of ritual, the violence of bone-testing, the loneliness of longing and the ache of constant uncertainty. “Foreign” sounds pang with emptiness, yet every silence is full. Time passes, story emerges, and movement becomes the language of resilience. 

The project is supported by Culture Moves Europe, Goethe Institut and the European Festivals Association (EFFEA) and is being developed in partnership with Teatro in Quota, Lacuna Festivals, and Centrifuge Arts with communities around the globe where transience and migration are urgent social issues.

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