Artist Maritea Dæhlin (1986) alternates between living and working in Norway and Mexico. She is interested in human behaviours, emotions, rituals and encounters. Her work spans between devised theater, video performance, performance art and poetry. Her art comes off as playful, minimal, non-linear and sometimes absurd. During Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival 2020, she is presenting her solo performance I WANT TO BE TRADITIONAL.
I think of artistic freedom and how it comes with a huge responsibility. I think of spaces for collective thought and transformation, and of spaces for polarization and separation. I think of the importance of having institutions and governments that protect their artists when their artistic freedom is being threatened. To have artists that stand up for each other. I still don’t feel that I manage to do enough of that. Standing up for others, for myself. I think of when I recently was almost silenced by my own fear in response to anonymous bullying online. I think of a country which I am very fond of (and which I also call home) where bullying doesn’t just stay online, but where ten women disappear every day, and which is on the top list of countries where journalists are being killed. I think of what it is like to be scared to talk about certain subjects, of a family member whom I never got to meet since he was killed for speaking up for the side that some considered to be the wrong side. I think of the importance of always guarding the freedom of artistic expression, of any expression. I think of how the freedom of one can step on the freedom of another. I think of the importance of resistance.
I think of the three times I have, in less than two months, seen performances with racist jokes, and then I think about who is supposed to laugh, who we make art for.
Top photo: Cecilia Monroy Cuevas.