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  • Chicago | Phnom Penh | Osaka

Living Memory/Living Absence

Interdisciplinary Theater / 60 min / 2005-2008

Photos: Michelle Alba

Conceived, Directed, Written & Performed by Anida Yoeu Ali
Directorial Support by Robert Karimi and Nicole LeGette
Animation/Video by Masahiro Sugano
Lighting Design by Yasmeen Shorish
Costume/Installation by Anida Yoeu Ali

The video documentation here is a 5 minute excerpt from the show’s run in San Francisco at SomArts in May 2005 as part of The United States of Asian America Festival.

This is the first collaboration of Anida Yoeu Ali and Masahiro Sugano prior to launching Studio Revolt in 2011.

“Living Memory/Living Absence” is an exploration of memory and exile, and the pain of these experiences within the bodies of genocide survivors. In this interdisciplinary piece Anida Yoeu Ali performs poetry with movement inspired by Butoh set against a video and sound backdrop of her memories in Cambodia. The work traces Anida’s poetic fears of returning to a country after 25 years of absence; the incredible joy she felt immersed in ancient Cambodian traditions; and the irreversible legacy of a genocide that lingered in the streets and countryside like stretched shadows without owners. The show is a journey through a landscape of fragmented old memories, an open ache for Home, and the junction of ancient cultures and modern curiosities. “Living Memory/Living Absence” reminds the audience that it is up to the living to remember histories, to create living traditions and to pass along the visible and the invisible stories; that is how culture evolves and survives.