July and October, 2018, Unst and Lerwick, Scotland.
I’m leading my company Mammalian Diving Reflex in developing The Presentation of Unst in Everyday Life, a new work in collaboration with the National Theatre of Scotland and Unstfest, on Unst the northernmost of the Shetland Islands. In 1949 sociologist Erving Goffman lived on Unst for a year, telling the people he was there to study the economy. He wasn’t. He was there to study the people of Unst and how they communicate. His seminal sociological text, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life was the result of this research. We’re returning to Unst to study Unstfest, a yearly festival that sees the island’s population soar from 600 to 6000. The team will be studying the communication conduct of an island festival, trying to answer the question: how does a successful community festival actually happen?
On the project with me are: Alice Fleming, Tina Fance and Thipeeshan Balakrishnan.