Pankaj Tiwari - TENT: A School of Performative Practices

I grew up listening to a story from my father, about a mountain and a person. There was heavy rain, and people did not have anywhere to go. One person took courage and lifted up the mountain and everyone could come in. TENT: A School of Performative Practices is that mountain, a space of possibility and imagination, which invites all(most) to come in. It is temporary and creates a space of collective imagination.

When I see institutions around, I feel that they have strong buildings, technologies, resources, but they lack space for listening or most of the people do not feel represented by these institutions. These institutions become static. The air circulating in those buildings is too old and has started stinking.

TENT is an open space, body and structure, with fresh air. Being without a building, the air can circulate well. Space, where we can all imagine, try, converse, think and create, all the possibilities, which we can not do in other spaces/institutions. In front of the big buildings, the TENT can be seen as very weak. It can even fly just with the wind, but this is its strength. This is how TENT is accessible and gives space to others. We want the TENT to be a catalyst and do not want it to exist permanently.

On its opening, TENT: A School of Performative Practices invites artist Sarah Naqvi with their poetry (There has been a Death), Dimitri with their workshop on collective thinking and institution building, Rinella with her new visual works, and Pankaj with his negotiation conversation on the European dream. This is the opening and inauguration of a real school and its practices. TENT represents a collective manifesto of non-Europeans, living in Europe. TENT itself wants to be a learning subject and develop according to what it can learn while doing it.

Pankaj Tiwari is a theatre maker and curator from Balrampur India, currently based in Amsterdam. He currently works as co-curator with Zurich Gessnerallee, Switzerland. In January 2020, Pankaj initiated Current: a Space, Amsterdam, which curated performances and worked to build a new audience and a culture of intersectionality. Pankaj uses theatre, food and farming as a medium for community building. He is part of collective Inquilab with Sarah Naqvi and founded Insquare foundation with artist Dimitri van den Wittenboer, in Amsterdam. His selected work includes Fireplace (21), We are Here (21), Less is More (20), The Art of Walking (20), Doing Time (20), Being Home (2019).

Pankaj Tiwari (artist, creator),
Dimitri van den Wittenboer
(artist, co-creator), Sarah Naqvi
(artist, collaborator, co-thinker),
Rinella Alfonso (artist, visuals,
collaborator), Maria Magdalena
Kozlowska (artist, performer),
Tom Oliver J (conversation partner),
Agat Sharma (conversation
partner), Arijit Laik (text editing,
Lara Staal
Nan van Houte