Da Gama's Last Dream Tagus River Sprite

This is a forum for my theoretical and artistic research. I am a scholar of Climate Change and global Water politics, as well as a theater professional and Founder of an environmental theater company in New York City, Harmattan Theater.

Harmattan Theater is designed as a moving laboratory to investigate the social, environmental and theoretical implications of global climate change on water bound communities around the world. I am interested in the relationship between moving bodies, liquid landscapes, superfund sites and urban skylines. Performance is a dynamic tool for analyzing the unpredictable spaces between ecology, waterscapes, the built environment and social histories. Using the communicative tools of global environmental theater traditions, Harmattan creates moving human installations grounded within the elements of rain, storm, oceans, cliffs, rocks and sand. These panatheneic, site specific public art installations invite interactive social arrangements different from the interior of the theater enclosed in its controlled environment. Harmattan’s roots lie in the panatheneic walking traditions of the Trans-Saharan migrations, the walking rituals of Eleusis and Delphi, as well as the environmental processional traditions of Buddhist walking meditation and Indian mendicant walks. Harmattan’s water based performances are organically created out of local community concerns, marking a disappearing shoreline, retracing a forgotten riverbed, or generating awareness about water rights. I am interested in the random walks of the environment, and its impact on human embodiment and urban life.

How should we imagine our impending coastal futures in the light of rising sea levels?

This question has led to me to create public performances in India, Cape Town, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, Istanbul and New York City. Coastal cities around the world have to learn from each other. Performance is one technique through which we can learn from shorelines around the globe. Harmattan’s work is a contribution to that dialogue.

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