Edinburgh, August 23rd 2017
In February of 2017, I was informed I had been selected as one of the ten fellows of the inaugural Georgetown Lab of Politics and Performance. This lab is comprised of ten fellows from all over the world: Cambodia, Palestine, Syria, Colombia, USA, UK, and Zimbabwe. The vision of the lab is to support us fellow in our work and help us find ways to collaborate amongst ourselves in the realm of politics and performance.
The highlight of the lab experience thus far has been the meet-up at the Edinburgh Festival this August. The festival was our first meeting amongst the fellows and we were teamed up with another group who were global cultural fellows from the University of Edinburgh. The eight days I spent there were the most eye opening as the group contained doctors, artists, economists, administrators, etc., all there were there to delve into various topics. It was fascinating to see how people in different professions viewed performances differently and how they understood the shows.
Outside of the circle of the conference, we spent time watching as many shows as possible, some brilliant and some that left more to be desired, which led to some fascinating discussions. One thing that will definitely stay with me forever is the scale of the festival. I could not have imagined how big an arts festival could get even if someone had told me what to expect. The shows are literally happening everywhere; in churches, bars, open spaces—everywhere around us, there was art being made! What strikes you the most is the vibe- it’s almost palpable and you can sense the excitement as the streets are filled with people handing out posters and fliers to their shows.
I can safely say the Edinburgh Festival is one experience that will stay with me for a long time, and through the lab, I got the opportunity to meet a group of amazing and intelligent people who I hope to collaborate with in the future. I am grateful to Almasi for giving me the opportunity to come to USC, which helped me gain the skills that got me into the Lab in the first place! There is already a buzz about the lab fellows collaborating on a show that will be at the festival in 2018. Who knows, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope it happens, but with the help of these great collaborators and my Almasi team, I know it will be a wonderful growing experience for me as an artist.