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We Can Be Fictions, ongoing

We Can Be Fictions is a participatory cinema project exploring the relation between space, power and expression; and ways in which constructed environments influence human behavior. The project spans New York City and Havana, Cuba, where fictionalized characters, adapted from real life, and the general public will exchange instructions for staged performances. Characters are based on the combined stories of several real people, who relate to both locations, as well as to one another: a formerly incarcerated Bronx poet who later became a guard at Guantanamo prison; a former art therapist who fell in love with a Guantanamo inmate, a former Guantanamo inmate who became a journalist in New York, and an unlikely group of people involved in Cuban land speculation. The connected performances will form a narrative arc as the two cities, representative of their larger nations, reconstruct formal political ties. The title We Can Be Fictions refers to the performance of everyday identity, that is at once real and constructed, whether for personal gain, political survival or love.

The project is being launched at Galería El Círculo in Havana, Cuba, on July 15, and at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in NYC on July 23rd, 6-8pm.

We Can Be Fictions is co-directed by Melanie Crean and Lizabel Monica. Crean is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York who works with new forms of narrative and participatory engagement. Monica is a Cuban writer and multi-disciplinary artist who explores the intersection between fiction and reality through written and visual media.