Paul Michael Henry on Unfix: 'We've got people together to create a mosaic of hope and activism'
- Lorna Irvine
- 11 March 2019
Ecological performance festival is back with a focus on climate change and the anthropocene
Dancer and artistic director of Unfix, Paul Michael Henry makes delicate yet powerfully humane work which interrogates ideas around our troubled planet, and with particular emphasis on ourselves and our roles as human beings, positive catalysts for change. His mini festival, Unfix , which puts the focus on such complex themes, returns to the CCA for three days and is now being produced by Feral Arts.
As Henry explains, 'I'm trying to take a general sense of brokenness and sustainability in modern life and use the fact of climate change – since it's here – as feedback from the planet to verify that what we're doing isn't sustainable, the massive inequality. There is a gut feeling that this isn't what we're supposed to be doing, this doesn't align with nature. So, I'm using climate change and the anthropocene as the focal point.'
He says that Feral have been very supportive in the role of producer. 'I approached them about a year and a half ago', he says. 'I'd been making my own work with a DIY sensibility for years, Unfix was roughly four years, and I felt that now was the time to bring in a producer.'
With artists from all over the world, Unfix's remit is global. This year sees Henry joined by an international group of artists such as Japan's Minako Seki, Holly Chernobyl from Chicago, Niya B (FKA Yani B), UK/Italian collective VID, Alberta Whittle, Christiana Bissett, and the Dark Mountain Project.
'I don't think it fits anywhere, or sits anywhere, with being a cross-artform festival, so it's unique in that sense', he adds. 'We've got people together to create a mosaic of hope and activism. Honesty and integrity is the key – trying to get hope from there.'
Unfix, CCA, Fri 29 Mar–Sun 31 Mar.