A unique in-depth study of a culture-specific approach to Indigenous dramaturgy that challenges Eurocentric ideologies
This volume documents the creation of Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way, a play written and performed by Monique Mojica with collaborators from diverse disciplines. Inspired by the pictographic writing and mola textiles of the Guna, an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia, the book explores Mojica’s unique approach to the performance process. Her method activates an Indigenous theatrical process that privileges the body in contrast to Western theater’s privileging of the written text, and rethinks the role of land, body, and movement, as well as dramatic story-structure and performance style.
Co-authored with anthropologist Brenda Farnell, the book challenges the divide between artist and scholar, and addresses the many levels of cultural, disciplinary, and linguistic translations required to achieve this. Placing the complex intellect inherent to Indigenous Knowledges at its center, the book engages Indigenous performance theory, and concepts that link body, land, and story, such as terra nullius/corpus nullius, mapping, pattern literacy, land literacy, and movement literacy. Enhanced by contributions from other artists and scholars, the book challenges Eurocentric ideologies about what counts as “performance” and what is required from an “audience,” as well as long-standing body-mind dualisms.
Monique Mojica is an independent actor, playwright, dramaturg, theater instructor, lecturer, and artist-scholar.
Brenda Farnell is Professor of Socio-Cultural & Linguistic Anthropology and American Indian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
“The centering of molas and of Guna epistemologies, the radically de-colonial ways in which contributors came to the piece, and the deep process of vigilance and protection that went into the creation of Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way are all deeply provocative and form a much-needed intervention in the fields of theatre, dance, and performance studies, as well as Indigenous and anti/post-colonial studies.”- Julie Burelle
—Julie Burelle, University of California San Diego
“The scholarship is groundbreaking in the innovative way that perspectives are linked and put in dialogue with each other. This book makes an enormous contribution, paying careful attention to the cultural contexts in which the creative methods are deployed to ensure that the method and cultural aims match up.”- Ann Elizabeth Armstrong
—Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, Miami University of Ohio