2022 Thematic Focus

Potential Territorialities: Body, Space and Identity in Performance

Each year, the residency is framed around a thematic focus that is conceived in response to the present states of our lived realities. In the wake of the pandemic, the mobility and prosperity promised by globalisation have dissolved and instead laid bare the complex socio-economic borders of inequality within and across societies. Environmental crises, migration movements and waves of authoritarianism and nationalism have intensified political and ideological lines. Meanwhile, virtual spheres have transformed every facet of our lives, engineering information, communication and commerce channels whilst mining the maps of our thoughts and actions. Revealed and amplified within these global shifts are hierarchies and tensions of power and control, which have ramifications on individual lives and livelihoods. Notions of territory, boundaries, ownership and autonomy come into question and its interconnectedness with constructing, controlling, protecting or liberating bodies, spaces and identities.


For the 2022 residency, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay proposes as epicentre the thematic focus Potential Territorialities: Body, Space and Identity in Performance. Territoriality as a term is associated with evolutionary processes between animal behaviour and the spaces that they lay claim to for survival. In society today, this behaviour has commonly been enforced within physical, mental or virtual spaces through institutions of power. Traversing entities, territoriality can also be actively constituted in the dynamic of relations and practices. The relational aspect of territoriality conjures multiple real and abstract associations pertaining to interconnected transformations in communities, territorial boundaries and the environment. By embracing the adaptive aspects of the term, the thematic focus endeavours to uncover the potentials of realignment between relations within a territory (geographic, political, social, cultural or artistic) during a time of planetary change.


As a subject in artistic research, potential territorialities may prompt enquiries towards new interpretations of our historical past, reflections on our present moment in flux, or creative imaginings of futures. By questioning the ways bodies—whether material object or virtual, corporeal or imagined—negotiate the limitations and possibilities of its boundaries and disciplines, how are spaces and systems permeated, rejected or transformed? Between interweaving visible and invisible lines and edges, what paradoxes and potentialities emerge when cultural, national, social, or individual identities coexist, relate and evolve?


The residency seeks to develop collective and diverse perspectives on body, space and identity within performance research and expand habits in performance making. The residency welcomes proposals from Singaporean and international artists, curators, programmers, writers, researchers and practitioners across all disciplines in the performing arts that complement and interpret the conceptual lines of the thematic focus alongside the applicant’s artistic practice and interest.

Residents of 2022

Get to know the residents of 2022 and their research: 7 independent practitioners, 2 duos and 1 collective, selected from over 300 applications across disciplines and in diverse contexts.

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