Winter doesn’t seem a great time for starting new adventures, but here we are. We have built enough steady groundwork this year to dare the jump. 2020’s madness had us rethink health, communal care and our needs as a socially distant collective. Together, we were pushed (or – ventured?) towards the edges. In 2021, we dance beyond. Kandaka’s proudest pandemic achievements are the friendships we helped to forge and the kindness that flourished in the spaces we created. We organised our online art residency K I N O T I T A, an intellectual and spiritual dance across the continents. We also produced our first documentary schwarz (we will share it eventually, bear with us), which became testament to how easily we can create communities if we are willing to show up genuinely. Getting people together has been most rewarding.
In all honesty, the Kandaka family was kinda lost and at times uninspired (reoccurring silences were caused by a number of creative crises). Still, we stumbled across liberating and promising practices that helped us manifest better realities made of radical care for ourselves and each other. We have accepted that 2020 was just the beginning of a difficult, scary future. The next years promise heartbreak as well as opportunity. If we want to survive, if we want to thrive, we will have to guarantee each other the safety of sustainable, honest and self-aware communities. Show up for one another like we did in K I N O T I T A and to our screenings of schwarz. Invite more people to venture away from fear and unhealthy comfort zones and into vulnerability and the wondrous unknown.
In the new year, Kandaka will continue our search for conscious and innovative ways to grasp our world in its beauty and its darkness. Our perspectives create our environments, so we will let our imaginations outrun our fears. Let’s experiment with new love languages to infuse our stories, listening practices and communal care with.
As a sneak peak for what’s to come, here’s one of Valia’s projects:
“As this year comes to an end, I want to reflect. Or rather, I feel the obligation to do so. I owe it to myself to come to terms with what happened in the world and to me personally. I do not want to fall into the trap of ‘toxic positivity’, however I do want to find value on what good has been done this year. We can all afford to bring in some of our achievements as individuals and communities into our last memoirs of 2020.
You may have seen on the Kandaka instagram page that we are working on a film based on the book ‘The Handmaiden’ and the film ‘The Fingersmith’. It has been a long process that, although it is not fully complete yet, is getting there. We are proud of what this project is becoming and has come to represent for us.
When I say we, I refer to our collective of young emerging artists, predominantly female-identifying, that came together in September 2019 for a DIY, unsmooth, fun and learning venture. This is what we call our (almost-complete) short dance film today. The process was not linear but from very little monies, facilities, materials and equipment we made so much. It is a film driven by passion and the hunger to develop our practice as artists.
It felt strange to many the way we adopted a non-hierarchical division of labour, without specifically-assigned positions. This was part flooding excitement and part direct positionality on reimagining a feminist, or merely non-oppressive, collaborative way of making creatively.
We hope that this project, this way of collaborating non-hierarchically, will be a testament to how this mode of communication and creation is possible. We want to be creative in our process as well as in our end result. More importantly, we want to take this approach into 2021 and our future journeys as artists and facilitators of creative, inclusive spaces.”
Have a wonderful new year,
love and strength to you all.
Words by Amuna Wagner and Valia Katsi
Photos by Marianna Loukou
Collage by Valia Katsi