Philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant’s ideas have been influential in political thought, social critique, creative inquiries, and cultural criticism in various corners of the world ever since his English-translated publication of Poetics of Relation became available in 1997. One influential idea he describes is opacity: what cannot be known in identity, phenomena, and human relationship. Glissant’s thoughts and propositions are vital to the foundational research for Takahiro Yamamoto’s Opacity of Performance. For this public conversation, he invites writer and performance theorist Joshua Chambers-Letson to join him in reflecting on what makes Glissant’s proposition so resonant yet so ungraspable.
Joshua Chambers-Letson is a writer and performance theorist who researches and teaches courses in performance studies, critical race theory, and queer of color critique. He is Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, and currently a visiting professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Yale University.
Takahiro Yamamoto is a multi-disciplinary artist, and the director/choreographer for Opacity of Performance.
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