Dancing the Ruins
3-Channel Video
11:47 minutes

I love to dance. Dancing is part of my personal journey into my body to release childhood trauma. I wondered if there was an intersection between that journey and the cultural journey to heal the violence of human rights violations and forced migration. I was filming couples dancing in neglected and abandoned architectural spaces in the rapidly changing urban core of San Antonio when I was awarded the Blue Star Contemporary residency at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, in Berlin. So I extended the project there, where I met a group of refugees from Syria who turned out to be a hip-hop crew. Remembering 'never leave a person in their trauma story,' I began asking the question, "Is the dance floor a space of healing personal and cultural trauma?" Invariably the answer was Yes, offered with an explanation of the significance for each person or community.

The dance floor is a contact point, a border. I don't ask your name, country, immigration status or story. I look into your eyes and put my hand on your shoulder. You don't know about my life. You put your hand on my waist and lead me across the floor.

© Anne Wallace 2021