About the project
If you enter “disappeared” or “desaparecidos” on Google, you will get a list of countries whose people are afflicted by forced exodus or extermination by repressive governments, which breed a network of warlords, drug cartels, death squads and other outlaw by-products of neo-colonial systems. The term “disappeared” can reference an extension of multiple overlapping issues to address migrants and refugees, sex trafficking, exploitation and destruction of the environment, prisons and state brutality.
BUSCARTE is a multi-year inquiry into the struggle to remain visible: to counteract the power structures of forced erasure. We assess the corporeal impact of the dominant narratives and ask how we can dismantle, reconceive, and create new realities using nothing but our moving bodies. BUSCARTE is in three movements:
A multidisciplinary duet performance that contemplates the forensic anthropology findings in the case of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College who were forcibly disappeared in Guerrero, Mexico in 2014.
A partnership with Mujeres Unidas y Activas, co-creators of a devised community performance work based on the stories of Latina immigrant women in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A vehicle for expanding our consciousness across borders, NAKA has convened choreographers Byb Chanel Bibene and Sammay Dizon to discuss and create on the topic of forced disappearance in their respective cultures.
Development of BUSCARTE is funded in part by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s NEW Program, Dancers’ Group’s Lighting Artists in Dance (LAD) program, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council and the East Bay Community Foundation's Fund for Artists.
BUSCARTE: Duet is a multidisciplinary duet performance that contemplates the forensic anthropology findings in the case of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College who were forcibly disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico in 2014. The ongoing search for the students has led to the discovery of other mass graves that reveal the epidemic proportions of the hidden violence. The work contemplates the effect of the trauma of forced disappearance on ever-widening circles in the community.
An inquiry of reality and fiction, experimentation and matter-of-facts, BUSCARTE is an elegy, a cathartic dance, a tapestry of motions and emotions in a quest to make visible that which cannot be looked at directly. BUSCARTE is created in collaboration with composer and sound designer Adria Otte who uses voice programming and processing technologies to transform the breath into an immersive soundscape.
Created and performed by José Navarrete and Debby Kajiyama
Composer and Voice programming and Processing: Adria Otte
Lighting designer: José María Francos
Adria Otte is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and sound designer whose musical practice began with classical violin studies, continued as an electric guitarist in rock bands, expanded with free improvisation, electronics and traditional Korean drumming, and currently integrates all of the above. She recently received an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College and her current projects include sound design for dance, theater and video, and the electro-acoustic duo, OMMO.
José María Francos (lighting designer) studied lighting and set design at Laney College in Oakland in the early 80s and has not stopped working since then. He has designed for opera, ballet and theater, including the Oakland Opera, Oakland Ballet, The Wallflower Order, the Dance Brigade, June Watanabe In Company, Ellen Bromberg Ensemble, Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theater, Robert Moses’ KIN and Dohee Lee Performance Projects. In 2001 he became the Production Manager and then Director of Production and Technical Services for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, a position he retired from in 2016.
with Mujeres Unidas y Activas
As part of BUSCARTE, we partner with Mujeres Unidas y Activas, a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with a double mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice. NAKA will partner with the women to create a devised performance work based on their experiences.
with Byb Chanel Bibene and SAMMAY
A vehicle for expanding our consciousness across borders, NAKA has convened choreographers Byb Chanel Bibene and Sammay Dizon to discuss and create on the topic of forced disappearance in their respective cultures. NAKA, Byb and Sammay, along with video documentarian Stevie Sanchez will travel to Mexico, Congo-Brazzaville, Japan and the Philippines together to research issues of erasure in each country.
In February 2018, we traveled together to Mexico City to visit the permanent camp established in front of the Attorney General’s offices (PGR) by activists demanding justice in the case of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.
On March 11, 2018, we hosted a workshop showing of some of the ideas we are contemplating. The program included:
By Byb Chanel Bibene
In the deep uproarious and callous waters of the Kongo river, three hundred fifty bodies vanished as a soulless smoke dissipates into the void of a harmful space. Waters, the life that turned into a grave of heroic women, men, and progenies; waters that offered a gift of tears to a country already torn by flying lethal missiles. 350 is the number of the disappeared at Le Beach de Brazzaville, the port, in 1998.
RECLAIM BAE (re-klaim ba-eh) is a multimedia dance theatre piece that pays tribute to the indigenous women of the Philippines at the forefront of revolution pastpresentfuture. we honor our soil-skinned grandmothers/mothers/daughters as the unseen warriors who continue to fight for our lands and nurture the tribe in the ongoing movement to reclaim what has been stolen.
Excerpt from BUSCARTE: Duet
By NAKA Dance Theater
BUSCARTE: Duet is a multidisciplinary duet performance that contemplates the forensic anthropology findings in the case of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College who were forcibly disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico in 2014. The ongoing search for the students has led to the discovery of multiple mass graves that reveal the epidemic proportions of the hidden violence.