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‘Becoming visible’ at Encuentro 2014

As Concordia anticipates the international conference and performance festival, the word “manifest” takes on new meaning
November 20, 2013
By Sara Dubreuil

The logo for Encuentro 2014 — an event that’s part-academic conference and part-performance festival — is a colourful handprint with the word “manifest” stencilled across its palm.

“The handprint represents the human body in performance and in political struggle,” says Encuentro producer Stephen Lawson, a visiting artist in the Department of Theatre. “The colours represent the festival side of the conference. Within political struggles, there can be festivity.”

The next edition of the biennial conference, which originates from the Hemispheric Institute of Politics and Performance in New York, is called MANIFEST! Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas. It’s set to take place at Concordia from June 21 to 28, 2014.

The event brings together as many as 700 delegates from across the Americas to explore the intersection of politics and performance. Next year’s program will include work groups on art and body politics, among more than a dozen other topics.

The breadth of the subject matter reflects the many possible interpretations of the conference’s title, Lawson explains — be it the notion of manifesting knowledge or the idea of the manif, French for “street demonstration.”

Encuentro addresses those ideas and many others. It’s more than an academic conference: it also includes performances by artists from a host of disciplines. Over the course of the week, artists will showcase their work for attendees.

More than anything, however, this edition of Encuentro aims to shed light on a range of political movements and ideas. Lawson would not have it any other way.

“The word ‘manifest’ itself is about becoming visible,” he says.

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