COMING TO AMERICA
8th BLACK INTERNATIONAL CINEMA, IUSB/BERLIN 1993
The hand of fate and the scepter of irony often intercede in life with unforeseen occurrences.
Leaving the shores of America twelve years ago, with the attitude that the world is "home" to all people and remote expectations of permanent return to the land of our birth; suddenly something has been reversed, and we, find ourselves readjusting to the one far-away land, that is in fact, the land from which we've sprung.
Observing and studying one's homeland from afar had/has the advantage of new perspectives being factored into developing consciousness and awareness. We always hoped these awareness’s were relatively objective and were the partial basis for more critical understanding of ourselves and the land across the sea in North America.
We recall the time we were in Budapest, Hungary in 1982, producing a dance workshop and presenting seminars at a university, with recurrent questions about America and our relationship to it as "marginalized" people.
We felt embarrassed at the fact that the accusations being made as to the treatment of many people in America, were true and indefensible.
It was this uncomfortable feeling at our being unable to justify the behavior of some Americans toward other Americans, that made us realize that we were indeed, Americans. Despite all, somehow, the land of our birth had been absorbed into our psyche far more deeply than we had realized, until these moments.
And when our "family" was attacked and reprimanded, the feelings and need to explain and justify where possible, and to protect the "family's" name, were new realizations to us.
And so, contradictions abounding, we're back in America.
The land of the world's only superpower and the progenitor of many of its marginalized citizens.
Still, with all we know and much that we suspect, we're attempting to contribute along with many other people and friends from around the world, to eventually render Langston Hughes' poem as something from a distant and haunted past... "America Was Never America to Me."
We the members of the Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre/Black International Cinema Berlin/Space & Times Tanz Companie Berlin/Cultural Zephyr e.V. are profoundly grateful to the people of Germany and the citizens of Berlin, who have encouraged and supported our endeavors for the past twelve years. Without this infrastructure of sustenance, our efforts at "home away from home" would surely have come to naught.
We look forward to future cultural exchanges between Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre, Black International Cinema/Indiana University South Bend and Berlin, Germany beginning with the March 17th – 21st presentation in Berlin, the city from which Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre/Black International Cinema Berlin/Space & Times Tanz Companie Berlin and Cultural Zephyr e.V., originated.
To be continued...
Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre
“There has been no Third World War.
The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall.
Commerce has stitched much of the world together.
Billions have been lifted from poverty.
The ideals of liberty, self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced.
We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past,
and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.”
President of the United States of America