• Row and elder at church

  • Erika Chong Shuch

  • Amara Tabor-Smith

  • Miyuki Baker

Against Isolation: Pandemic Connections through the Arts

The 2020 pandemic scattered everyone into disconnected spaces, interrupting physical interactions and art-making. Responding to these times, choreographers Erika Chong Shuch and Amara Tabor-Smith have created intimate connections within their communities of artistic practice, focusing particularly on isolated elders and individuals. Join the artists and moderator Miyuki Baker for a survey of the present and imagining of the collective future, with an introduction by Susan Moffat, creative director of Future Histories Lab.

Shuch is a performance-maker, choreographer, and director who moves between theater, experimental performance, and social practice, She brings together interdisciplinary communities in the spirit of creative research, most recently through a project titled Artists and Elders, which enables shared creative exchange among populations struggling with isolation. Tabor-Smith is an Oakland-based choreographer and performance-maker and the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater. She creates interdisciplinary site-specific and community-responsive performances utilizing Yoruba Lukumí spiritual technologies to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity, and belonging. Baker is a queer Zainichi artist, zinester, and PhD candidate in performance studies at UC Berkeley. They’re currently writing their dissertation on histories of mutual aid in East Oakland.

Presented by the Future Histories Lab, a project of UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative, and UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.