I, MelaniaView Development Blog
Photo by Ben Gregory
Paula Varjack and Chuck Blue Lowry met working on an intergenerational women’s project for Magic Me . They discovered their practices were inverses of each other; Chuck training in performance and then film, Paula training in film and then moving into performance. Working together again on a women’s participation project for Cardboard Citizens and Clean Break , they became keen to bring together their video and performance experience with their work in participation. They have both spent the same amount of their lives in London and lived in different parts of Europe. They both have British fathers and foreign mothers (Paula’s: Ghanian, Chuck’s: Italian) but identify with both of their parent’s cultures. This sparked an ongoing conversation between them about their relationship to being “foreign”.
I, Melania is Paula and Chuck’s first project as Varjack-Lowry. Using Melania Trump as an avatar of an ‘acceptably’ foreign woman, they will work together and with participants to create video and performance exploring their relationship to being “foreign”.
What are the ways a foreign woman can assimilate and make herself more welcome?
How is this open to some foreigners and not others?
When does the question of “Where are you from?” feel like an attack, or an invitation?
Despite her public role, Melania Trump has kept most of her views private. With so little to go on, the press often projects possible narratives within the subtext of what she says (and wears). Exploring the journey of Melania Trump from her home country and into the public sphere, Varjack-Lowry will compare her narrative to theirs, to learn how and if they can be acceptably foreign and female.