The poetics of activism: a ritual for Brexit

“I found Collapse utterly utterly compelling” Astrida Neimanis, author


Collapse: Manchester (photo:Tamsin Drury)

Since the 23rd June 2016, the UK has lived through a period of uncertainty as we wait to find out what will happen when Brexit becomes effective on the 29th of March 2019. The waiting, the not-knowing, the many voices offering conflicting opinions give rise to frustration, anxiety, resignation and sometimes  hope, and affect the political, social, personal and embodied facets of our lives. Brexit, or the prospect of it, has polarised communities and families – nobody knows what will happen.

For as long as I can remember, the UK has been a part of the European Union. When this relation is set to end on 29 March 2019, I wonder what lies beyond that point. Perhaps nothing will change at least not on that day, but over time it will alter in institutional and imperceptible ways. The biggest concerns of the government and the media at the moment are the economics of the separation, but the effect of these will slowly filter into social relationships and other perceptions of the world. Will the UK become more insular or will it look further into the distance, way past its neighbours in Europe to seek new fortunes elsewhere?

Collapse is a word  used to describe the much apprehended downward movement of financial market, though nowadays it is used ubiquitously for describing any scenario that appears cataclysmic, be it natural, social or political. Now I am proposing the Collapse of the human form from the vertical to the horizontal, as a ritual to mark Brexit. On 29 March 2019, I invite you to join me in the City of London to participate in Collapse: Brexit, 2019.

Collapse is an ongoing series of performance interventions that I’ve been developing since 2015. It is a dance duet with forces beyond our control: gravity, time and weathering. It is a movement ritual that engages with resistance and surrender, and proposes a poetics of activism. This action is not a protest, the poetics of activism is the proposition that through doing ‘walking the walk instead of talking the talk’ we can come to recognise the embodied aspect of our politics. In becoming horizontal the body encounters multiple perspectives that allow for reflection on the complexity of the present moment.

I am seeking participants for Collapse: Brexit, 2019. The process of the project will comprise a 3 hour movement/training session at Siobhan Davies Studios a week before the event. Participants will then join in the group Collapse on 29th March. Independent Dance are supporting the event through their network platform.

The invitation to Collapse is open to people of all ages and abilities, the training offered will address any concerns as well as providing a platform for sharing and discursive exchange around a poetics of activism.

Visit the event call out for more details






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