After a tree falls and its crash has reverberated through the ripped soil, we are left with a deafening silence. This void fills the forest or cleared dessert, engulfing the world in suspended shock. Once humans have hauled this being away, burned the wasted carcass (wasted because it has been stolen, its nutrients removed from their environment), the entire forest community morns this silenced entity. A vital conversationalist, caretaker, nurturer, has been replaced by looming phantoms. A ghost the humans tend to intentionally ignore.
These ghosts haunt the world, covering human communities and their wasteland. Throughout Turtle Island, Abya Yala, the American Continent, entire forest was erased from their soil, sold, burned and removed to make way for a destroyer’s manifest destiny. The decedents of these colonizers inhabit their pilfered land, with (if their lucky) the decedents of the violated forests. Little do they care to remember or recognize the fact that they are living in the negated memory of their ancestor’s expansion. As humans, we have become overly use to living with ghosts.
How to make these silences speak? How do we allow them to share the memory our history has chosen to gloss over and transform?
We at Talking Wings have chosen to replace silence with silence, communicate untold remembrances through movement. The human body becomes our mouthpiece, physical expression the letters to a long-lost language. To tell the story of long-lost forest and their/our future, ones needs to include this vocabulary of silences. We chose to use dance to complement the spoken word, we use improvised dances to complement the story telling of history. While the documentary narrative elaborates forest community’s collective memory, the talking bodies allow the land’s memory to participate in this dance of past, present and future.