We named this project “TIBA” and came up with a concept called “The Museum of Arrival”. At first, we were sharing stories about what it meant “to arrive” (“tiba”) based on our own thoughts, experiences and collective memories, in the form of personal notes or literature texts.
We turned all of these stories into a dance piece entitled “The Museum of Arrival”. This concept is slated to morph into a stage show or a dance film, depending on the situation. However, we have also come up with a zine that exhibits our creative process while working on the project that eventually gave birth to the “The Museum of Arrival” concept.
If every museum has a catalogue, then it’s safe to say that our zine is essentially the catalogue for “The Museum of Arrival”. As a catalogue, this zine “exhibits” a collection of our memories on arrival, some of which have already transformed into new forms, such as poems, photos, images, and so on.
As dancers, Josh, Rosie, and Irfan are not used to writing poetry. However, for this project, they wrote poems to jot down their memories. Meanwhile, Heru, who is a sound dramaturg and used to writing poetry, took part in laying down the initial ideas for our dance piece. In other words, this collaboration allowed us to try out new things and combine it with our tried-and-true expertise. Only a collaborative effort could make this happen.
Collaboration is not only about exchanging thoughts but also sharing taste. “Taste” is a deeply personal matter that might be difficult to comprehend or be well-received quickly by other people, who also have their own taste. However, we managed to achieve this by sharing our taste in words, visuals, colours, memories, sounds, etc. Sharing our taste allowed us to understand each other and the contexts that underlie our respective taste.
In a cross-cultural collaboration, it’s indeed not easy to find a common ground. At the same time, it’s this common ground that laid the foundation for our work. We certainly did not want this common ground to be artificial or perfunctory; we wanted it to showcase the core vision of our collaboration. We also wanted our respective contributions to benefit each and every one of us although we might have different memories which exist in different contexts.
Eventually, we settled with the museum formula to welcome a variety of memories and experiences pertaining to arrival – not only because this formula was able to accommodate all data available but also because this formula proved to be the most apt in symbolising our partnership.
Traditionally, museum is a building or a space of recollection, it recalls everything that took place in the past. In each memory, there ought to be layers of knowledge, history, feelings, political aspirations, and many more. However, the museum that we built is in the form of a dance piece (stage dance or dance film). Therefore, we are using body as the main “space” to showcase and discuss all memories related to arrival in various shapes and forms.
This project, which is made possible by the CTC program, is principally designed for a long-term collaborative work. “The Museum of Arrival” is aimed to be the groundwork for a dance piece, be it on stage or on film.
We believe that in the globalisation era, issues related to “arrival” are momentous. People move from one place to another for different reasons, be it for travelling or escaping a warzone. All of these instances make for ample storytelling in the context of “arrival”. Thus far, this project has been able to summarise our arrival-related memories. We hope for more stories on arrival to arrive at this “museum”.