Conversations Without Walls: Mina Nishimura & Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez with Samita Sinha
April 14, 2022
Conversations Without Walls (CWW) was designed to bring together voices of artists, curators, scholars, writers, and more, into long-form roundtable discussions. The content of these conversations are intentionally wide ranging and artist driven—they can provide further context and insight into an artist’s research, reflect on a Danspace Project program, unpack methodologies and practices, or reflect on larger systemic and structural issues that impact artists today.
This CWW was pre-recorded and then broadcast via YouTube.
Accessibility: This video is captioned. Please ignore the YouTube chat access line phone number for the purposes of this archived video.
Danspace’s signature long-form conversation series presents a virtual conversation between 2021-22 Renewal Residency Artists, Mina Nishimura and Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez with facilitator and 2021-22 Research Fellow, Samita Sinha.
In this CWW Nishimura and Núñez share their experience as immigrant artists living and working in the US and for whom English is not a first language. Among other unique challenges, they discuss the many layers of translation needed to communicate and write about their work in order to access necessary institutional and foundational support.
Within their discussion, Núñez thinks critically about capitalist notions of “effective” communication and, from his perspective as a visually impaired dance artist, reminds us of the robust range of communication and translation work among disabled, d/Deaf, Immunocompromised, Neurodivergent, and chronically Ill communities. Nishimura identifies divergent cultural intentions and expectations embedded in the Japanese language and American English and the ways in which these cultural and linguistic differences affect her life and work.
With Sinha’s facilitation, they all explore unique challenges in translating dance into language. Together they provoke many questions: What is lost or gained in processes of translation? What refusals and reclamations can be made here? As dance makers, how can communication be honored and celebrated, beyond the making of meaning or unified understanding?