Stef Writes On Loss in Berlin

Hi there!

Stef? Writing? Loss? Berlin? Let me explain.

My name is Stefani Kuo, I'm a playwright, poet, and performer from Hong Kong, and I just graduated from college as a Theater Studies major. Part of being a theatermaker is the uncertainty of when your next opportunity might be, and my next one just came up.

This week, I was formally offered one of three spots at an artist's residency at the Center of Substructured Loss, an organization that began in Canada in 2009, dedicated to the development of applied grief and bereavement research. The research is interdisciplinary, documented through the use of the arts, combined with technical research.  The residency itself would last from mid-August till late-September 2017.

I applied to this residency with a craft founded in art. My play, Architecture of Rain (check out pictures/reviews/info on my website), was produced as the Fall Dramat Ex at Yale in 2016 with an all-Asian female cast, and is a story of three women's loss of their youngest daughter. I believe narrative is the only way to make sense of living.

The project I was accepted for with this residency focuses on the mechanisms and rituals of hoarding. I am fascinated by use of, desire or need for accumulation to combat a sense of loss or lack of control. The piece I am envisioning would be in the form of a play, or a solo performance. I am focusing on hoarding as an example of both the externalized desire to remember and the privatized space of control.

Loss related to traumatic and cultural memory is my primary focus. I am constantly aware of how people around me deal with loss, particularly in this time of cultural turmoil in the world. It is important to me to understand work being created around me, and to be aware of the importance of my voice in relation to the world.

So what's the catch?
Because the Center of Substructured Loss is quite new, the exciting opportunity they offer with the Berlin Residency does not come with funding for room, board, airfare, or program payment. The center focuses on exactly the things I have been working on as an artist, and would like to write about and produce from for the near and far future. I wrote to the center asking about the possibility of funding, but they unfortunately do not have the resources for it. To that end, I either have the choice of not taking this opportunity of being one of three artists in Berlin working on this residency which would culminate in a presentation of my work, or using your help to get there!

Where does the 3,200 euro goal come from?
Airfare: New York to Berlin & Berlin to Hong Kong
(around 1,000)
Room & Board: (One month)
(around 1,600)
Program fees: 600 euros

Thank you for having read this, and for having allowing me to explain myself, this project, and opportunity I have been afforded. I would love to be able to take part in it, and believe it will be a huge step in my career and path as an artist and person. Any amount you can contribute would be a huge help and would be immensely appreciated. I am so grateful for all your help.

  • Helen Chen 
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  • Vivien Chan 
    • €200 
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  • Anonymous 
    • €10 
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  • Anonymous 
    • €50 
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  • Harry Harding 
    • €300 
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Stefani Kuo