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Temple of Care / foster shell with stray gods

hybrid multimedia installation and performance, participatory project

Tanzkongress 2022 - Sharing Potentials, Staatstheater Mainz

In collaboration with: Chartreuse, Camille Jemelen, Iokasti-Kyriaki Zografou Mantzakidou

Collaboration set and costumes: Lucia Vonrhein, Marielle Sokoll

Collaboration sound: Elie Gregory

Interview contributors: Anajara Amarante, esmat ahmadian, Ilias Gkionis aka GingerΈλα, Naikee, Tchivett

Light and set support: Federico Longo

Many thanks to all friends and loved ones who contributed their bed portraits to the installation and to the technical team of Staatstheater Mainz


A hybrid installation and performance, a participatory community-based project is a collective exploration of queer care practices, featuring contributions from and interviews with queer, trans PoC and disabled activists, artists and community organisers.

What would it take to imagine relational ecologies of care from scratch, beyond political defeats, irreversible losses and the hyper-individualised colonial capitalist care industry?

Over the past years, the politics of care have become one of the central polylogues across many art and community circles, including a growing interest in ‘queer care practices’ through dance and performance making. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this conversation and its practices even more urgent. Against the background of the current war in Ukraine, it feels important to ask ourselves, what are ‘queer care practices’ in times of war and crisis? Do they still exist when one confronts the limits of one’s own and others’ humanity? How do we show up for each other and create temporary inner shelters, when there are no others available? Can practices and intuitive knowledge of marginalised minorities around coping with trauma have broader relevance and be shared as transferable skills of solidarity?

Within the Tanzkongress, we offer space for intimate encounters with each other and these haunting questions, and generate a living installation that we inhabit and shapeshift as we explore deeper into embodied polylogues of queer care practices. As an experiment in creation of a temporary poetic-discursive container, it invites visiting individuals to reflect on and practise how we show up for each other, move along the rough edges of the unknown, get drenched in each other’s experience, stay present in the eye of a storm, and inquire together into the possibility of tenderly daydreaming anew towards co-liberation and collective healing.

We hope this space and the care skill exchanges can enable us to bring us closer towards a more sustainable collective redistribution of affective and care labour, and slightly more livable daily realities for those touched by profound losses and violence.


Tanzkongress 2022 - Sharing Potentials is an event by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation),in cooperation with the Staatstheater Mainz, supported by the Goethe-Institut

© Tanzkongress 2022 / Andreas Etter

© Tanzkongress 2022 / Andreas Etter


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