Sunday, November 8, 2009

eat the streets

I just got really excited to see that Canadian company Mamallian Diving Reflex have been back in Australia. They were in Launceston doing a new project called Eat the Streets:

"4 weeks, 12 restaurants. A jury of children deciding what they love, hate and which washroom is the worst."

Last year they brought the ‘Children’s Choice Awards’ to the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Primary school students from Footscray were given a chance to walk the red carpet and voice their opinions on shows they had seen during the Festival. It was pretty piss your pants funny. I was in stitches listening to rave reviews and some pretty harsh judgements. It was amazing to be in a space where children took the stage as the experts and reinvented the rules. The young people invented their own award categories which meant that the framework for the ceremony wasn't structured by adults with adult agendas. The event asked: what happens when adults and their important artistic agendas aren't the ones measuring the art? I was tickled pink by the award ceremony and left with many more questions than answers. And this is the sort of company I'd like to be asking questions with...

Darren and Natalie from the company are pretty awesome. They spoke at Artplay last year and it was really exciting to hear them talk about their work- much of which focuses on moments of connection (and much of their work in the past has been with young people- another favourite project is haircuts by children - where adults let young people cut their hair!) It's also very very cool that Lenine Bourke from YPAA is involved with their next project- it will be great to have more and more of this influence in our own youth arts sector.

On their website MDR talk about wanting to create work which:
dismantles the barriers between individuals, fostering a dialogue between audience members, between the audience and the material and between the performers and the audience.


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