La MaMa Experimental Theater Club and Kinding Sindaw announce a new exhibition, In Honor of the Ancestors: Indigenous Living Traditions from the Philippines in Diaspora, running Thursday, January 11 – Sunday, January 26, 2024 from 1pm – 7pm, at La MaMa Galleria, 47 Great Jones Street, NYC, 10012. Attendance is available with a suggested donation of $5-$20. Click here to learn more about this show.

Through multiple constellations of photography and video, scenography and sacred heirlooms, the exhibition tells the story of Kinding Sindaw by celebrating the lives of its hereditary and creative forebears from both Mindanao and downtown New York. Artists whose work appears in the exhibition: the late Bai Labi Hadji Amina, Sultan Mamintal Dirampaten, Corky Lee, June Maeda, Sultan Mohammad Giwan Mastura, and Ellen Stewart.

Drawing on techniques from Theater of the Oppressed, visitors will be invited to take off their shoes and participate as ‘spect-actors’ within an immersive installation conceived as a community space for live performance and ceremony, lectures, discussions, and workshops: including beginners’ classes led by master kulintang gong musicians, introductory exercises to pangalay movement healing, and betel-nut rituals, offering immersive transformational wellness and healing experiences.

Back home, oral traditions passed down from the ancestors weave inseparably through everyday life as kinding (dance), sindaw (to spark a light), silat (martial arts), bayok (chanting) and panaroon (extemporaneous poetry). To preserve this aliveness, Kinding Sindaw will unleash its archives through the lens of salsilah, which to the Muslims of Mindanao can refer both to a clan’s ‘genealogy’ as well as the recited litany of its names. From the Arabic for ‘chain’ or ‘connection’, salsilah expands understandings of archival practice by encompassing the oral, performative, and ritual dimensions of provenance and collective memory.