L-Imlejqa is our forgotten Mother Earth: the beginning of performance creation.

First rehearsal outdoor at Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples. Photo credit: Rafal Mielczarek

The short story about the feminine goddess of motherhood who is associated with our very private mother as well as our collective one, The Mother Earth, became the focal point of our performance research. In particular, her cyclic functions connected to changes in the seasons with the emphasis on her main characteristic of continuity, fluidity and circularity to maintain life processes.

The statement ‘life is present where there is no stagnation’ pictures this primordial ideology which we did place at the basis of our working process and performance itself. Therefore, when speaking about the structure, it was clear that we would design the performance on the seasonal functionality of life forces performed by the Mother Nature. Having said that, the four main seasons were brought to the fore

simultaneously linked with the foremost roles of the Mother Goddess: 1) spring as the first season wherein the Earth is a virgin, gets fertilised and gives birth to a new being, 2) summer proceeds with the newborn that grows and reaches the age of maturity, 3) autumn follows wherein the mature being has given fruits of his/her own as if thanking for his/her life while keeping the circle of energy ongoing, 4) winter succeeds along with a re-appearance of The Mother Earth who is no longer the fragile waiting-to-be fecundated virgin but a Terrible Mother, in Maltese known as L-omm Terribli, who is herself a death figure. According to Neumann, as cited in Darmanin Kissaun 2016, the great mother is projected on to mother earth and is perceived not only as the good nurturer but also the cruel mother of death and destruction. The womb of the earth needs dead bodies to fertilise it. The great mother therefore contains and encloses the child’s existence in both life and death.

Apart from structuring the piece into five parts of spring, summer, autumn, winter and spring again in order to keep the circular character, we also assigned different roles among each other to reflect the characters from this archaic story. The roles were of a good mother who is a life giver and a bad mother - a death wielder performed by the same person (Laura Kuukkanen), a new life-being that is born and put to death (Karolina Mielczarek) and the act of renewal and regeneration performed by both – Laura and Karolina which brings the circle of life to its end which is in fact a new beginning.

I would like to underline the fact that there is no such a thing as ‘an end’ according to the old beliefs of European but also non-European cultures.

Life does not end after death but continues into a renewal of a new life which is a never-ending process of life and death. The mystery of life and death is a transformative, non-linear process which swirls infinitely penetrating all the material and non-material things.

First rehearsal outdoor at Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples. Photo credit: Rafal Mielczarek

#Rebirth #Death #Life #MotherEarth #Malta #Performance #Theatre #Art #Psychology #Women #Seasons #Myths

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