Preparations for The Lost Library at The Wrexham Open.
Questions I’m considering:
Dwindling libraries – what is being done around the UK and to what effect?
How do and how can libraries can best support communities?
What is now essential in a library?
Does free access to text enhance social cohesion?
Do very well read individuals benefit communities (and which communities?)
Collecting and collections, in particular words, lexicons, dictionaries.
Communicating and connecting in a multi-lingual society.
The landscape of a place affecting communication – on writing.
Over the past week I’ve had two rehearsals of The Lost Library where I performed a joining ritual with people, whilst mute, participants completed a registration form, asked me a question on the form which I responded through a gesture or bodily movement, received a library card and one word.
The Librarian character – so far I’ve played a stock broker, myself and pushed that through being mute throughout rehearsals (and previously at Deptford X Fringe – being mute for 6 hours) , but I now find the lost librarians character is that of a warrior, who is fighting to connect with people and place through a living archive (the lost library word collection of that place).
The word collecting activity I originally came up with – asking people for stories about Wrexham – has proved too arbitrary – so last week I asked new members to put their favourite word on the form – but it is still not right.
I am pondering instead using one of the words from my word collection (currently has 14* words) as the starting point of the Wrexham collection. Where participants join the library, receive a card and a word, fill in the form and we talk whilst harvesting honesty seeds.
There’s actually not too much pondering to do, I’ve worked with honesty now twice before in performance, most recently at a car boot sale and before that at a business networking breakfast.
Collecting words while also collecting seeds would have a less formal feel to it – and the words collected would have been thought about for a little longer, in a relaxed setting and so more meaningful to the individual. Allowing a stepping back. When I am mute and awaiting people to fill in a form I find it’s all a bit formal and far too much like an exam, with a strange pressure, which is not my intention. I don’t need to put others on the spot like that – it’s not helpful in gathering words that actually mean something to them.
This word collecting session/s would be a workshop, I have two appearances in each of Ty Pawb (was Oriel Wrexham) and UnDegUn – the first appearances being harvesting and word gathering and the next sessions being The Lost Library appearances using the words generated in those sessions.
Join here and grow the Lost Library Wrexham word collection with me.
*tribal, celticity, honesty, atmosphere, equinox, pentre, voice, land, myth, vital, botanical, posting, clarity.
Honesty harvesting video: https://vimeo.com/wynnepaton/review/295257256/c84e39427f