Back to All Events

Mar. 29 | Performing Listening in the Context of Memorial Audio Walks

  • Knox Hall Room 509, Columbia University 606 West 122nd Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

WHEN: Thursday, March 29, 2018, 6:00 - 7:30 pm

WHERE: 606 W 122nd Street, Knox Hall 509, Columbia University

Does a performance of memory need to include words? When is it necessary and appropriate to re-present someone else’s oral history testimony? What roles do listening, remembering and going public play in the performance of oral history? In this talk, Luis Sotelo will explore these questions by looking at a series of examples of work by him, by social actors (memory activists), and by other artists.

Sotelo will, additionally, explore the interconnections between walking, listening, space and oral history in the context of what could be termed ‘memorial audio walks’, that is audio walks about memories that are related to a site where the audio walk takes place. To enable the participants to experience some of these questions and concepts through their own bodies, a series of short practical exercises will be proposed. Altogether, participants will be introduced to different approaches to oral history performance, and to some of the key artistic, ethical, and methodological questions raised by this emergent field of practice that brings together theatre, performance studies, activism, and oral history.

Luis C. Sotelo Castro is Canada Research Chair in Oral History Performance and Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University, Montreal (Quebec, Canada). In his current creation-research, he investigates modes of listening in the context of oral history performance and, more broadly, in the context of performances of memory. Since 2002, he has done work with and for internally displaced people, Indigenous communities, migrants, and elderly people both in Latin America and in the United Kingdom. His creative work has been commissioned by civil society and academic organizations such as the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration. His publications explore the interconnections between cartography, presentation of self, memory, walking, and performance.

This event is part of a yearlong series on Oral History and the Arts.

INFORMATION: For more information, please email Amy Starecheski at

This event is FREE and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

No registration is required, but RSVPs on the event Facebook page are appreciated to gauge attendance.

Earlier Event: March 8
Mar. 8 | How to Listen
Later Event: April 5
Apr. 5 | Push Play