This poetry performance explores notions of how aspiration, as verb and noun, process and affect, provides the impetus for liveliness amidst the realities of a stifling world. The word aspiration refers not only the action of breathing into; it is also that which is breathed out; as well as being “the action of aspiring” or a “steadfast desire or longing for something above one” (OED Online). In the current global moment – characterised by late-stage capitalism and the resultant asphyxiation of lifeforms, macrocosms and importantly, hope – aspiring to breathe and aspiring to live for something greater appears as an almost radical act of liveliness. Through a diffractive reading of aspirations – from the spheres of reproduction and techno-medical interventions to the creation of artforms that express hopes, desires and longing – this work goes on a lyrical journey to bring together and bring into focus various labours of liveliness. The medium of performance itself is a methodological choice that reflects the performativity of aspiration, that is, what aspirations bring about to happen in the world.
November 2, 2020
ASPIRATION : A Diffractive Performance
Elthéa De Ruiters
About Elthéa De Ruiters
Elthéa de Ruiters is a Masters candidate in Anthropology at the University of Cape Town. She is currently working on her dissertation, a feminist ethnography of socio-political meanings of the uterus, tentatively titled A Uterus Ethnography: Feminism, intimate publics, and uterine subjectivity. She is particularly interested in the ways that biology and metaphors of violence are operationalized in the context of feminist work and solidarity, asking about affective relations, uterine subjectivities and futures. Her forthcoming work experiments with established modes of anthropological inquiry. In her free time she retreats into either fictional worlds or the breath-taking mountains of the South African landscape.