Showtimes and Tickets
Ghostly Acts by Durga Bishwokarma explores the spectre of caste and violence.
“The ghost is not simply a dead or a missing person, but a social figure, and investigating it can lead to that dense site where history and subjectivity make social life.”– Avery F. Gordon
“Ghostly Acts” explores the spectre of caste and violence, taking inspiration from Avery Gordon’s book Ghostly Matters (2008). By invoking the figure of the ghost, the performance emphasizes how the act of living is the highest form of resistance.
Durga Bishwokarma will explore notions of caste, particularly ideas around purity and pollution. Switching between personal, political, and personal-political, she will cover multiple spatial, temporal and subjective geographies to complicate the idea of identity and belonging.
The performance is an experimental piece, weaving together participatory moments, personal and archival fragments, and some ghostly acts. This performance aims to destabilize the audience’s easy consumption of caste narratives from an intellectual distance.
Concept and performance: Durga Bishwokarma
Artistic adviser/outside eye: Thomas Østgaard
Creative adviser: Ram Krishna Ranjan
Scenographer: Oda Holmvik Bredvold
Live Music: Ulf Knudsen
Soundtrack Music: Øystein Elle
Production by: Østfold International Theater
Production manager: Malin Østli
Technical manager: Bjørn Gunnar Otten
Marketing manager: Hilde Marthinsen
Communications manager & photo: Ida Willassen
I am thankful to Østfold International Theatre and Viken Fylkeskommune for the 8-month Artist internship program. This opportunity has provided me with a profound artistic space to research and explore my artistic interest in the topic that I urge to work on as an artist: art for Dalit and marginalized communities. During this program, I have been investigating the core question of why there are less artists and stories is coming from oppressed/marginalized communities in the performance field, how to develop an art for oppressed stories from a global perspective, etc.
Special thanks to the Østfold International Theater family; the artistic director Thomas Østgaard for listening to the international social context that I brought to the table and for your artistic support towards my practice which has motivated me to explore my personal stories openly and fearlessly. Thank you to James Moore for all the creative talks and guidelines. Thank you Vilde Broen and Anna Rabenda for your special advice on paper and accounting works, I can’t believe how hard to deal with that parts to become an independent performer in Norway, you deserve a big thanks Vilde for giving me those all-early morning time and introducing about self-administrative ideas. A big thanks to Hilde Marthinsen and Ida Willassen for the best marketing support. Thank you to Bjørn Gunnar Otten and Øyvind Andresen for being patience with my ambiguous ideas about tech needs. Thank you, Fredrik Borgund, Karoline Solbakken and Thea Faerden Bringsvaerd for all the encountering and exchanging dialogue about arts and life.
Special thanks to Malin Østlin for being a supportive production manager for “Ghostly Acts”. Your energy towards the project feels like I have found a big relief.
Thank you to my dearest friend and a Ph.D. researcher at HDK- Valand Ram Krishna Ranjan for your big contribution to this project. You have supported me from collecting theory to writing work, from creative advising to title making, and thank you for your afford to come and work with me at Fredrikstad, and for being a project creative adviser. This shows that you are the backbone of the project. Thank you, Ram.
Thank you Øystien Elle for producing music and donating them to my project and special thanks to dearest Ulf Kunsden for being a live musician in the performance. Thank you, Oda Holmvik Bredvold; so great to have you in the project as a scenographer, you all have dared to say yes to this project which could be completely out of your context, but how you engaged and shared your knowledge feels like big development support.
Thank you to my husband Bikash Tiwari for frequently coming to my working space after a late-night shift, listening to my ideas, and not letting me feel alone in this process of solo art-making. Thank you all, I wouldn’t be able to create this project if one of you weren’t there for me.
Thank you Dr. Karmenlara Elle for always being a supportive teacher and your encouragement for my artistic development. Special thanks to prof. Claire Hind and Joshua Sofaer for the time in zoom meetings.
Thank you to my dearest friend/adviser Dr. Monica Motinn for active conversations about how to work on communities’ stories, similarly to Dr. Shiva Rijal for the artistic guidelines. Thank you to Rosemary Kikon for sending me emails, books, and lovely cards from a far distance during the rehearsal process. Thank you dearest friend Mari Pitkaen for a Sunday visit to my workspace and for your special feedback. Thank you, dear friend Inger Reidun Olsen for a lovely lunch and conversation about dance and movement.
Special thanks to journalists from the Fredrikstad Blad Wenche Marie Jacobsen for your article about my personal story.
Thank you, to all the audiences who will be there to support the work “Ghostly Acts”.
And of course, thank you to all of the lovely supportive people out there with whom I have been exchanging my ideas but didn’t put the name here, you are all in my heart.