Roulette: Anastasia Clarke - Swans Lakeless
Event by Roulette.
Swans Lakeless is an intermedia composition woven from experience and myth that gives voice to Odin, a trans amputee tenant union organizer facing mass eviction along with their comrades, who is assaulted by the police and held in custody for over 20 hours. The story is told from the nonlinear spaces of Odin’s recovery from the incident, wherein reflections upon the interrelationships between shame, violence, and trauma coexist in disjointed harmony with earnest explorations of radical empathy, self-healing, and a quest for transformative justice.
Odin’s story becomes suddenly relatable for many around him when an unexpected pandemic rattles the globe, prompting isolation and social collapse. Themes that once bantered through a Bushwick basement reverie of community organizing are suddenly found whispering through the wooded ravines, thickets, and campfires of the lake-filled region where Odin lands himself. From there, Odin uses telematic communication to organize a rent strike.
The collaborative process behind Swans Lakeless has been adapted to travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Confined to England, Dawn Felicia Knox began to physically configure the visual terrain of this work through video projection, material manipulation, and fields of colored light in the Star & Shadow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She filmed the evolving installation, layered with raw and source video to be premiered at Roulette as the audio score by Anastasia Clarke unfolds Shannon Lumpkin’s script.
*Content warning: This work includes descriptions and images of police brutality.
The process for creating and sharing this work is informed by anti-ableism, access and Disability Justice.