During the early process of making I'm Bitter About Glitter we thought a lot about boundaries. Boundaries in making the work, boundaries in showing, diseminating and promoting the work, the ever present nature of the internet and many other juicy cononundrums around this theme. It was essential to me in making a true, collaborative and authentic piece that reflected and supported both artists- one 41, and one 9.
The following is a manifesto of sorts around the needs of the piece and our needs as artists. We found it really helpful in communicating with our partners and deciding who the right people to work with are. I hope you find it helpful too.
I'm Bitter About Glitter A Statement of Ethics
Whilst these statements relate to the piece of work I’m Bitter About Glitter we would like that these ground rules be upheld by any partner/event that we will work with in the future. This ‘code of ethics’ will be useful to refer to in making decisions around where to show the work in the future and in what context. I hope that this list will be intrinsic to my reflections and future direction of the work as well as being of benefit to other practitioners.
- We will only say things in the performance (and in surrounding event) that we are comfortable saying to each other *
- No “Pantomime Hierarchies” i.e: using condescension/shame based humour or language/ delivery that that works on one level for children and another for adults. This includes inappropriate sexual references and innuendo
- We want to create work/a space for adults and children to laugh/enjoy/experience together so that neither adult or child feels shortchanged or unstimulated
- We want to create a genuine and authentic experience for our audiences of children and adults
- WE BELIEVE THAT THE ABOVE POINTS ARE A POLITICAL ACT!
- Stay playful!!!
- Alcohol Policy. We will consider the alcohol policy carefully at each event. We think that a daytime event at venues not geared up to drinking/clubbing culture will work best
- Felix and Liz to leave the venue by 11pm
- SIMPLE TECH needs. We don’t want to create a complicated show
- Avoid Felix waiting around for hours pre-show. Design work so he is not needed to be present in the tech
- Liz to have clear roles on the day and assign tasks to other people (Clarity and planning)
- Private space for Liz and Felix to change/hang out/prepare
- Protected time for Liz & Felix (Liz not pulled away into tech- see point 8.)
- Felix to have ‘real jobs’ on the day- has agency over space/process/set up
- If there is a panel discussion this is carefully planned in collaboration with Liz & Felix, Felix is prepared and in control and all involved has the understanding that he chooses what to respond to. The discussion is skillfully hosted and mediated
Questions we are currently considering in our exploration
- Is it OK to use this performance/platform as part of Liz & Felix’s explorations of identity?
- How can we ensure that Felix is consenting to the story he might be presenting? (i.e.: an adult reading of work in an LGBTQ context) (JO’S MUM!)
- How can we ensure Felix always has agency in the work?
- How can we ensure Liz always has agency in the work?
- How can we incorporate each performers’ ideas without necessarily watering them down by compromise?
- How can we present our real relationships, and the real story of this work within the fantasy form?
- How can we hold spaces that are safe and stimulating for both adults and children?