Phase Two – Escape Velocity Walks the City launches as part of Future Echoes Festival
While Phase One of the Escape Velocity films were three fictionalised dramatic narratives, Phase Two will involve more direct and personal statements by a group of young people about being trans or gender non-conforming and especially what that means in public places.
Premiering in August 2019, Phase One Escape Velocity was part of a creative project of films and live performances, made with trans and gender non-conforming young people in Melbourne. The films were an artistic response to some of the anxieties faced by young people in public space and will be presented in three phases over a year.
The first phase was extremely successful, with more than 280,000 views across the three short films. The premiere public screening of Phase Two of the films will run at the Arts Centre Melbourne on 26th October at 6pm as part of the Future Echoes Festival and complement Escape Velocity Walks the City, an innovative artistic project created by National Showcase Artist, Rosana Cade, performing 23rd – 26th October.
Devised specifically as part of Escape Velocity in collaboration with St Martins, this project is a response to Cade’s internationally acclaimed Walking:Holding, which has toured the world inviting solo audience members to walk through towns holding hands with series of different local strangers.
Escape Velocity invites Melbournians to Walk the City hand-in-hand with local trans and gender non-conforming young people on a unique journey offering gentle connection and fresh perspectives. The walk will commence from Hamer Hall’s St Kilda Road Foyer.
According to Rosana, the simple act of holding hands, in a tender exchange with a stranger, hopes to be a catalyst for though-provoking discussing, especially in the LGBTIQ space. “With this new process we are devising as part of Escape Velocity we are hoping that the participants will embrace this sense of defiance, and that this experience of being in the city with others can create moments of resistance and strength. This process will be much more specifically engaging with trans and gender non-conforming people and we hope it will be an opportunity for more people to gain a greater understanding of the ways in which the city can feel both oppressive and supportive to these identities. We are thinking a lot about how it feels to be in a group or connected to others compared to being on your own and building on conversations the team at St Martins have already been having with them around states of vigilance and rest, visibility and vulnerability. As with the wider Walking:Holding project, it will be an opportunity to consider the myriad ways our identity affects our experience of the city, and how we create spaces with our bodies that have impact on others. It will be a chance to contemplate our responsibility and complicity through our presence in public space, and the affect we can have on the others we share spaces with.
“Escape Velocity is a brilliant project focused on spreading awareness of the issues faced by trans and GNC young people, asking for broader understanding, acceptance and social change to make the world an easier place for them to exist in. These ideas are central to our work and process. This project fits well within the wider project because it allows for direct encounters, flesh to flesh experiences of difference, which help build empathy and understanding. It’s an opportunity to try the ideas out live in public space and create an experience that gives an opportunity for direct connection between different people.
“Social change doesn’t happen through one specific action or mode. It is almost always the effect of multiple strategies and interactions, of thousands of people feeling passionate and inspired, being moved to enact change in their own way. We need large campaigns; we need to use the power technology can give us to spread messages far and wide and communicate with vast swathes of people. We need people to take to the streets in large numbers. We need speeches and billboards. We also need opportunities for gentle 1-on-1 human to human conversations, where people can ask questions and be heard, where experiences are shared that can change people’s minds. And these conversations can act as catalysts for further conversations or actions by the people taking part.
“It strikes me that a strength of the Escape Velocity project is that it is utilising many of these different approaches and ways of communicating, creating films, using the online platform and also creating moments for live interaction and direct encounters. My collaborators Laurie Brown, Ivor MacAskill and I are thrilled to be able to bring this process here as part of this project.” Rosana adds.
St Martin’s Artistic Director, Nadja Kostich says, Melbournians should take the time to absorb the second phase of Escape Velocity with vigour and experiment with Cade’s astonishingly intimate approach to art.
“The films will creatively play with the themes of one and many; and looking and being looked at. This is in beautiful alignment with Walking: Holding as a concept and specifically with Escape Velocity Walks the City, where audiences will be able to examine their responses to holding hands and seeing the city through the eyes of one of our young gender non-conforming people. The work invites contemplation around intimacy with self and others in public arenas and is an example of how our seemingly small yet conscious acts can be radical and impact us and others deeply. St Martins is proud to introduce this exciting collective of artists to Melbourne audiences.”
For information including times:
To discover and view Escape Velocity, visit www.escapevelocity.net.au