How can we address the silence that is haunting us from within? Beyond the Silence enacts a dialogue between performative drawing, trauma theory, and literary practice. Driven by the shared desire to explore different modes of knowing and inhabiting the world, this collaboration entwines practices of mark-making with both poetic and critical writing. In response to concepts such as Donna Haraway’s cat’s cradles or Gilles Deleuze’s rhizomes, we develop modes of thinking, reading and writing that are immanent and collaborative. The sounds, rhythmic visual patterns and bodily interactions emerging from Dejan Mrdja’s drawing performances unsettle the structure of theory-based argumentation in trauma studies, inspiring a reciprocal pattern of thought and performance. Understood as an instance of “sympoiesis” (Donna Haraway in response to M.Beth Dempster), this process of creating as thinking exposes the interconnectedness of our being in language, body, and non-organic matter. Its poiesis entwines language with the non-linguistic signification of mark-making and sound; yet this is symbiotic rather than individualized, and occurs in the spaces in between bodies, different artistic or critical practices, human and non-human matter.
Beyond the Silence was presented in June 2018 at London Conference for Critical Thought at Westminster University.