A Performance Talk by Virginia Grise
Part lecture and part performance, award-winning playwright/theater artist Virginia Grise speaks about moving bodies and porous borders as she shares both personal stories and historical research related to her newest theater project, rasgos asiaticos, a site-specific performance installation that premieres in Los Angeles this March.
Grise begins with a single event: On October 24, 1871, nearly 20 Chinese men were tortured and hanged in downtown Los Angeles. This mass lynching—one of the largest in U.S. history— took place on Calle de los Negros, named for its original inhabitants: dark-skinned Californios of Indigenous, African and Spanish descent. From this coincidence of space, she insists that the story of migration and displacement in the Americas is a palimpsest—a parchment written on, erased, then written on again—tracing old words ghosting underneath the new. rasgos asiaticos examines the historic confluence of China, Mexico and the United States in an attempt to re-imagine how we think about immigration, migration and dignity in the U.S.- Mexico borderlands.