The migrant without a resting place is like an orbiting planet – a person in orbit around their own life. In making her show Planites, Greek choreographer Patricia Apergi investigated the matter of the migratory journey itself – the route, the objects the person carries – more than the reasons for the going. Impressions from this research were recorded in pieces of writing like the following, by Patricia and her collaborators.
Let's call it a no-one's trip towards Nowhere. Nowhere is a strange place, you know: it can be as huge as a desert, or as tiny and narrow as a carpet, an ashtray, a water closet. As unlimited and restricted as a refugee camp.
For actually this strange destination is where someone becomes no-one, and no-one becomes nothing. It also could be the place where in a childish way I perform the things I've lost, organising my nostalgia, my homesickness, my longing for the past. It could be this swaying geography.
That's why I'm as disoriented and fabulous as on a flying carpet: you could think it's just the shabby surface of a poor street business, but all my life is packed in it; still, that carpet concentrates in a domestic object all the routes, lines and tracks I've walked. If I unrolled it in the desert, all those colors and lines would mark a tiny piece of difference, and that difference would be my only rag of an identity.
Since this special traveling (they call it immigration) is not about going from A to B: it's not a choice, nor a voyage of conquest. It depends on the fact that I simply can't stay anywhere: my chair, my house, my fatherland just crumbled under me. And when this shifting trouble began, early one morning, I entered a perilous space of disappearance: disappeared for the ones that knew me best, and still invisible to all the ones I was to meet on my path. Travelers are blackmailed by the vanishing. If ever an engaged photograph decided to give me the alms of some visibility, there you'd have my image, not as an image of me, but as the image of the one representing the thousand who presumably resemble him: another way of vanishing.
For all that, during the travel I'll be struggling against the invisibility, celebrating my pain, celebrating my own culture, celebrating the shape of the travel itself. Or performing all those things for a public that loves the intriguing, folkloric smell of exile.
You know, I'm really like a global trash: a human garbage that has to move around because no-one really wants it anywhere. I'm really like a global insect or beast: no-one can really understand the reasons and logic of my untiring motion, even if I believe I know them.
That's why you'll see quite easily this unending traveler staying in your streets as motionless as an object someone put in the right place where it might not bother anyone any more: another way of vanishing. That stillness is the bitter secret of all my dances.
I simply can't stay anywhere: my chair, my house, my fatherland just crumbled under me.
Now, the problem is that once I've had a moment of rest, the place spits me out towards a new unknown. Then I won't but keep on traveling, even when sleeping: something will travel me out of myself. Never on the spot – always escaping or pursuing the things that are before or after me.
I'll vomit the route out of my stomach; and vomit the story of that voyage, trying to tell it in a language which will always appear stranger, as incomprehensible as the barbarian rumbling of something. Spitting the story of getting spitted out.
Finally I won't have but the garbage of the travel to explain, to unfold itself; call it the museum of my unconditional surrendering; all the things my body paid back when the struggle was over and the battle was lost: a treasure to me, and a meaningless amount of trash for anyone else. Once I've been someone; after I've been something; and soon I'll be no one. The garbage will come after me. The garbage will travel for me. Roberto Fratini (Dramaturg)
I am borrowing your history in order to erase the frontiers of the accomplished civilisations, and to raise my voice through radical actions that hold me responsible of the decision to travel. I drag my wants along with my severed rights, in order to coexist with those favoured nations who support my freedom; up until they encounter me. I collected all my ‘tomorrows’ together with my children and my work, and piled them into the limitless paradise you advertised. And you were alarmed because I asked to share an opportunity.
I have chosen to wander in the world of deficiency and of discrimination in order to claim a small share of compensation from the lottery drawn by my own cursed nation. No matter. I fit. I fit into your laws. I laid out my dreams onto your streets, I set up my household in your conscience and I shared your history in order to tell the fairytale in the mother tongue tomorrow. And they lived happily ever after. Patricia Apergi (Choreographer)