Empower Arts, Animate Communities

Chapter 11:
Traces of Care: Chalk/Dust

DOI: 10.54165/9789887928522/11

Adelina Ong

In this chapter, I will reflect on applied performance workshops I’ve facilitated towards the creation of chalk graffiti poems that were written at a time of increasing violence directed at Chinese, East and Southeast Asian migrants in the UK. These chalk graffiti poems end with ‘I am here for you’, subverting the implicit ‘I was here’ of graffiti. Adopting narrative inquiry as my methodology, my critical reflections on Chineseness extend Allan Chun’s observations on the geopolitics of identity (1996) and Royona Mitra’s new interculturalism (2015). As an exploration of form and language, these chalk graffiti poems are performances with the more-than-human that speak to irrecoverable loss. I suggest that it is in the acknowledgement of our enduring interconnectedness with the more-than-human that we might begin to practice distance as a form of care between places. 

pp. 165-179 (PDF)

To cite:
Ong, Adelina, “Traces of Care: Chalk/Dust”. In Empower Arts, Animate Communities, edited by Benny Lim & Hing-kay Oscar Ho, 165-179. Hong Kong: Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2021. https://doi.org/10.54165/9789887928522/11