Dancing Our Stories

Dancing Our Stories is connecting different people through contemporary dance and storytelling with each other – first in a safer space and eventually publicly on a digital platform. This artistic collaboration between Migration Hub Heidelberg, Inter-Actions and the TikTok program #CreatorsForDiversity is centring around the body and how history and reality manifests in it.

Which stories can be told through the body, and what experiences are articulated in this process? How are different bodies politicized, and how can movement function as language of expression? How can we interrupt the art world that excludes these stories? (In)visible, body-centered, abstract, fast, still. Movement is dance, social life is a performance, together we want to create a safer space for our stories.

Our target audience are people who reflect the diversity of our city, Heidelberg. We especially want to offer space for people whose stories are often unheard or ignored, for instance BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour), people with experience of displacement, Muslims, Jews, teenagers, senior citizens, disabled people, and people from the LGBTQIA+ community. Together we want to try out a new digital stage, disrupt the artworld and use the platform TikTok to unite different people and share Our Stories seamlessly everywhere, all the time.

Follow us on TikTok @dancingourstories.

Current Status

 

In 2021 Migration Hub Heidelberg and INTER-ACTIONS initiated the project Dancing Our Stories. Over 10 participants have since then brought in their uniqueness, brilliance, and stories into the project and our shared experiences. Together we have created spaces, formats, movements, and ideas on and off-stage. Ultimately translated into multiple short films by everyone, capturing the exploration done together with the team, the space, individually and the society at large. We also welcomed special guests, such as trans* rights activist Kami Sid to share with us the joy of traditional Sufi dance and speak on the right to be and the ongoing struggle for one’s own free expression.

Now, in 2022 and after our third round of filming, the project is currently put on hold, but our movements have been captured in time and space for us and others to witness. We would like to use this time to incorporate the experiences we have made and shared in our future encounters. We want to see where this path is taking us and the project in its development and change.

What is (not) seen?

 

The project Dancing Our Stories aims to give a stage to people whose stories are often unheard by the dominant society. Further, it tries to be critical about it. However, the project does not claim to serve the full picture. This post is an honest reminder to that.

We did not reach everybody. Inaccessibility remained on certain levels. Dominant dynamics and structures somewhat persisted. Some videos can not be shown because sometimes visibility comes at the cost of safety. However, we are grateful that you were here with us. We see you! Structures, language, format, and used channels were inaccessible to begin with. Some people left the project, some for personal reasons, some because of existing dynamics and conditions.

Transparency with all open questions, and accountability with frictions and unattained topics, is part of our work. This post is meant to give and take space. It is an honest reminder to keep trying. An attempt to make the invisible present.

Participants, organizers, colleagues, and supporters, you all brought us so many powerful moments and important discussions about representation, power structures and barriers in the cultural world, ourselves and the art scene.

We want to thank you, we appreciate all of you.

The (available) stories so far… on TikTok @dancingourstories.