The Sovereign Statement | Neo-Futurarium | Fall Arts, Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Oct. 17-Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $20, Thursdays are pay what you can
"All nations are invented," Bilal Dardai reminds us near the start of The Sovereign Statement, the new Neo-Futurist production he wrote and appears in along with five other actors. Sure, countries may possess hard assets like land and resources, industries, armies, and infrastructure. They may find identity in a dominant language or religion or DNA strain. But at heart they're all intellectual properties: abstract notions with real-world implications, constructed out of a set of rules and an official narrative. Making his point as ridiculously as possible, Dardai cites the entirely conceptual micronations of Talossa (founded by a 14-year-old Milwaukee kid in 1979), Nova Roma (a Maine-based home for those who miss the glories of ancient Rome), and Celestia (reportedly registered with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds as comprising the entire universe exclusive of earth). If Dardai's statement seems a little oh-wow-ish—the kind of thing that comes up in bong-driven dorm-room conversation—it nevertheless speaks directly to the current historical moment, in which national narratives are unraveling all over the place. Consider Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and the women drivers of Saudi Arabia. Consider Congo and Greece. Consider the goddamn breakup of the Soviet Union. And what's the Tea Party, after all, but a club for people who've lost the thread of the national story they've been telling themselves—the one where the United States is a white man's paradise? Continue reading >>

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