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“We - those who are committed to the twofold project of critiquing normativities and the violence of the status quo, and working toward and for alternatives - need to activate ways of going beyond the sometimes strenuous demands of disciplinarity and professionalisation, ways that are not so much interdisciplinary but are instead deliberately promiscuous.” Kandice Chuh, The Difference Aesthetics Makes

Kandice Chuh proposes ‘illiberal humanisms’ as defensible humanities focussed on the ‘protection and flourishing of people and ways of being and knowing and of inhabiting the planet’ that is not defined by the structures of modernity which is constitutive of coloniality. We want to take it further in creating a practical and community led, run and oriented RADICAL HUMANISM. Illiberal humanism is its own discipline which holds its own normalising methods too. Therefore, in our Radical Humanism, we must work with an anti-disciplinary model, perspective and method to defy ‘common sense’ knowledge and instead value relationality, nonsense, lawlessness, failure, stupidity and non-linear story-telling as a form of revolution. Mastery is replaced with collective thought that is ‘othered’ by standardisation, an otherness that is infinitely multitudinous. The critic and the text must be recognised as mutuals. Powerhouse is creating its own pedagogical theatre practice that only invites this mutuality in a FLATTENED HIERARCHY

We want to generate a new artistic humanities that is grassroots and promotes interconnected imaginaries as a tool to rebuild freedom in the ruins of capitalism. A crucial founder of social theatre, Bertold Brecht, urged his audiences

do not take off your brain with your hats!”

and we say bring all your hats and swap them with each other at the door. We create art that is engaged in the dispossession of social structures and does so by manhandling them and transforming the trauma of ‘otherness; into a real, documented, lived, digital and physical community. We don’t want to simply survive anymore - it is time to thrive and we need each other to do that. 

In rejecting ‘common sense’ formed by structural limitations based on concepts of progress, structure, modernity, linear time, and categorisation, we aim to promote AFFECTIVE FEMINISMS. Our emotions and experiences are evidence of our battle with the normalised code of liberal citizenship (white, male, cisgender, heteropatriarchal, and hierarchised) which we are not invited to participate in by definition. We will reclaim the grounds of what is constituted as ‘reasonable’ and consequently rewarded. We will create unreasonable art.

We use the method of AESTHETIC INQUIRY which isolates a field of data and interprets the aesthetic judgements that can be unified across art forms, and then we turn the whole thing on its head in order to develop hypotheses to explain the law-like recurrences that may appear in the phenomenon. We understand this to be RADICAL WORLD-BUILDING. The mainstream arts tend to try to avoid the ‘inevitable paradox’ (Lisa Lowe) of operating as radicals within the normalised capitalist system and end up becoming part of the oppressive system. Our art speaks from collectively minoritised discourses and experiences while actively and explicitly commenting on the structural conditions within which we work. This means we exist in opposites and ‘others’ as a radical arts practice.

We need an active community for the revolution - creatives, audience, participants, friends, lovers, soul-mates, family. Through performances of original plays, monthly podcasts, short films and in-person community showcase events we aim to build a community that spreads far across artistic practices, cultures, and personhood.

This is POWERHOUSE - will you join us? 

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