SK!N; a new work in contemporary performance based around true stories about Human Trafficking
Inspired by actual events, award winning theatremakers TerryandTheCuz in collaboration with Australian-based performance maker Ashley Dyer, pen a compelling script that brings audiences into the world of human trafficking through an experiential journey that is both engaging and insightful.
“Bold and electrifying choreography that conveys a sense of urgent desperation and frustration […] SK!N did an achingly beautiful job portraying the physical and mental torture refugees are often subjected to” - The Penang Monthly (Malaysia) September 2015
We are currently seeking funds (AUD $30,000.00) to finish the project in Kuala Lumpur and present this work both in Malaysia and Australia. Local funding avenues have hit a dead end due to the sensitivity of the subject matter. Therefore we are now starting a global funding drive through Kickstarter to raise the funds needed to finish the work and make it tour-ready by the end of 2016. After a successful preview at the 2015 George Town Festival, TerryandTheCuz will be presenting the World Premiere of ‘SK!N’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 9th of August 2016 followed by a season in Australia in late September 2016. Funds from this Kickstarter campaign will go towards:
- Internal Restructuring & Steel Work for Container: $12,500.00 AUD
- 9 x Return Flights for Cast & Crew Malaysia-Australia : $9000.00 AUD
- Freight 1 x 40FT Container from Malaysia-Australia: $6500.00 AUD
- Australian Custom Clearance & Permits: $2000.00 AUD
Images from our season at George Town Fest (Aug 2015):
WHAT IS SK!N ABOUT?
After being registered and processed, the audience are squashed into 40-foot custom configured shipping containers, where they watch three dancers poetically embody the traumatic cycle of forced migration, detention, deportation and human trafficking. Then the shipping containers move and the audience, startled, are shipped off and dumped at a previously unknown location around the city.
SK!N is a raw, challenging and thought provoking exploration that focuses on the plight of human trafficking victims whom are far too often overlooked. The power of this production is delivered by a passionate cast and is underscored with the realism of trafficked persons’ accounts.
“SK!N is a powerful work. I respect the level of dramaturgical integrity in the piece -- one group doesn't even see the 'performance' and instead is led around blindfolded. The three different group experiences succeed in theatrically capturing three different aspects of trafficking horrors." Alison M Friedman, Director, Ping Pong Productions, Beijing China.
- There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today .
- 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children - U.S. State Department.
- Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking).
Created in consultation with TENAGANITA, a NGO whose major focus areas of work include refugees rights protection and anti-trafficking in persons, the contemporary performance aims to raise awareness and educate the audience about the malignant practices of this trade.
Our overarching aim is to infuse real stories, technology and movement to create a new, fresh and bold appreciation for contemporary performance whilst engaging the global audience on the serious issues surrounding this pandemic.
The season at George Town enabled us to successfully trial, test and showcase all aspects of the show; including the safe moving of a live audience. The unique performance concept, bold design and stunning choreography, effectively managed to uncover questions about human dignity and the commodification of people whilst reminding the audience of their attitudes and responsibilities towards human rights. From all the glowing responses, reviews and feedback from industry professionals, local media, festival-goers, human rights advocates and migrant community partners; we were thrilled to see that the work had successfully evoked a visceral and empathic response from our audiences, spurring us to further develop the work into a full length performance that will tour the world over the next 3 to 5 years.
"SK!N by TerryandTheCuz was one of the highlights of my 2015 Festival" - Joe Sidek Festival Director, George Town Festival.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN SK!N?
SK!N was developed in collaboration with Melbourne based performance maker Ashley Dyer, award wining sound designer David Franzke and Malaysian performers Wong Jyh Shyong, Suhaili Micheline and Ren Xin Lee.
Risks and challenges
We have been developing SK!N since November in 2014. We have organised interviews, workshops and meetings with more 50 victims who had been or who were still being trafficked; people from the Alliance for Chin Refugees (ACR), the Chin Refugee Centre (CRC), Rohingya Refugees, Bangladeshi Economic Migrants, Cambodian Refugees and Filipino sex workers.
We rehearsed with leading local and international artists.
We acquired and fit out shipping containers.
We organised road closures and police escorts to move the audience.
We developed a roughly hour long interdisciplinary performance.
We were booked out within hours of the online ticket release.
We presented 5 shows in one day at the 2015 George Town Festival
Artistically; this stage will focus on the following core objectives, actions and outcomes:
1) To fully integrate the three main elements of the performance; dance, participatory performance and lecture demonstration
2) To develop more dance, participatory and lecture based content in consultation with the community participants.
3) To finish fabricating the set and ensuring it is tour ready.
Socially; it is important for this work to be tour ready because:
1) SK!N will be traveling to Australia after its world premiere in Malaysia; and then hopefully with enough funding and support to other parts of Asia, Europe and America. The work aims to promote a culture where equality and human rights for all are embraced, valued and protected; and to inform people about rights violations against migrants & refugees by working closely with local NGOs/Human Rights Organizations who are consistently advocating at local and international levels for effective protection of human rights.
2) By working closely with local NGOs/Human Rights Organizations in each town/city/country; we hope to enlighten local audiences about how Human Trafficking affects and is embedded within their communities. So whilst this is a global issue; understanding how this problem affects you directly will help change attitudes towards refugees and victims of trafficking.
3) A percentage of every ticket sold at every festival/city/season will be donated to that local NGO/Human Rights organization to help combat Human Trafficking in that locality.
4) Our most significant goal for this project is; by the end of our 5 year journey; we would have worked with and connected as many different NGO's and Human Rights Organisations from around the world, forming what we hope would be a formidable network of agencies and peoples who have dedicated their lives to combating this pandemic.
The funds from this Kickstarter campaign will go towards the hard costs needed for making the project tour ready by the end of 2016. Every pledge will be a long-term investment in helping us bring this work and it's message around the world. We need your help to bring SK!N to your city.
The SK!N Touring Route:
George Town 2015 (Completed)
Kuala Lumpur 2016 (Confirmed)
Adelaide 2016 (Confirmed)
Melbourne 2017 (Confirmed)
Sydney 2017 (TBC)
Brisbane 2017 (TBC)
Seoul 2017 (TBC)
Tokyo 2017 (TBC)
Hong Kong 2018 (TBC)
Amsterdam 2018 (TBC)
Paris 2018 (TBC)
Hamburg 2018 (TBC)
Dublin 2018 (TBC)
Barcelona 2018 (TBC)
Copenhagen 2018 (TBC)
Oslo 2018 (TBC)
Stockholm 2018 (TBC)
Toronto 2019 (TBC)
Vancouver 2019 (TBC)
New York 2019 (TBC)
San Francisco 2019 (TBC)
Austin 2019 (TBC)
Portland 2019 (TBC)
Bogota 2020 (TBC)
Sao Paolo 2020 (TBC)
Buenos Aires 2020 (TBC)
- (40 days)