by sherman fleming


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I seek to create a performance that  draws connections to as well as evoke the spirit of resistance to repressive actions as demonstrated by American citizens during the 1960’s. Likewise past and present exclusionary strategies that seek to position discrimination as a prevailing force for social and political life are collapsed in this performance.  Consequently, social critique, political history and performance merge in this action as it strives to connect past struggles for civil rights to present day strategies.  The project, POST, is a Civil Rights themed performance created to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Children’s March, Birmingham, Alabama, 1963.  POST seeks to impact the ways in which we evaluate race as filtered through media and literature.  The goal of this project is to provide a stage for discussion and reflection, to bring into relief—rather than to elide—the “class conflicts, rage and impotence in figurations of race.” (Toni Morrison)  POST establishes a performance structure that allows for the performers to improvise as well as interact with each other in order to create actions that are instinctive as well as innovative, and, all the while, determined by the limits of their endurance.

Ultimately, I want this performance to inspire dialogue and participation as I  create an action “that links individuals, networks, and institutions into a community of place of interest.”

Conceptually, POST will comprise performance actions that evoke the historic resistance strategies of the Civil Rights era.  The project has three components:

 1. Performers physically navigate a contained space in which water from a high-pressure hose is aimed at them.  They develop improvisational choreography that enables them to interact with each other as they, singularly and group-wise, negotiate the blast of water being aimed at them.

2. Speakers broadcast the sound of barking dogs during the event. 3. Visual recording of the event will attempt to mimic the original way the demonstration was being documented.

I am seeking to raise start-up funds of $17300.  The total amount needed for this project is $22,300.  $5000 has so far been raised towards the project. This amount will help defray performance fees for the performers, the cost of the high pressure water hose and support equipment, as well as the cost of filming the event.   In the event that the fundraising exceeds the goal, the extra monies will be used to tour the project to other cities and venues.  I appreciate your consideration of this project and thank you in advance for your generous support.