|Date:||Tuesday 1 Jun, 4:30pm - 5:30pm|
|Location:||AUT City Campus
WA Building, WA Conference Centre
The current pandemic has provoked a spatial and temporal remapping of the social. As in plague times, the everyday was fissured. We have been stopped short at odd intervals, sanitised at entryways, and while washing our hands we chanted, thus marking time to inoculate ourselves against infection. We toed the line on sidewalks and in aisles, stepping back so as to move forward in newly syncopated rhythms, in and out of sync with those around us. We hesitated, turned away rather than toward, held breath, suspended, disconnected. We did what we were told. We waited.
Professor Mazer considers repeated gestures of purification and distantiation as rituals of inculcation and invocation: inculcation of compliance in performing citizenship; and invocation of a belief that we can hold the unclean at bay with our obeisance. With the ubiquitous bottles of hand sanitiser slowly disappearing, the taped and painted arrows, lines and footprints uplifted or eroding, and the warning signs fading, what remains? Will the residue of (post)colonial constraint and conformity still cling to us, or in revoking our habitual relations to each other and our environment might we shake it off in search of other ways to be in the world?
Sharon Mazer is Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies in Te Ara Poutama, the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development, and Head of the School of Language and Culture. Her books include: Professional Wrestling: Sport and Spectacle (1998; 2020); I have loved me a man: the life and times of Mika (2018); The Intricate Art of Actually Caring . . . and Other New Zealand Plays (2018) and Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism (2020).