Imagine 2037: Closer

Gaël Cornec's piece for Imagine 2037 is about love, loss and the passage of time

If you walk to the top of Arthur's Seat, you’ll meet someone you’d never otherwise meet.

A stranger.

We both thought this moment would not exist, you and I.
I erased a few words, a number of times. You hesitated a touch.

Life is made of encounters in uncertain futures, of imagined romances, of déjà vus with saudades. It happens in a time that is waiting to be, in cities distant from ourselves that we know so well.
Look around. Below the peak, the walls of the buildings remain the same while our faces crumble. Twenty years is a speck of dust in the history of everything yet an avalanche in our lives; it descends in roars not in sweet melodies. Time is a slap in the face, sudden, painful, memorable. And there is no other way than remembering. So look around. What do you see?
I want it badly, what you carry in your eyes, what brings you closer to me. Make a souvenir of this soon-to-be-gone memory. A photo, a drawing, a sentence, or whatever way you have to outlive time, share it with me. Do not camouflage its reality with filter or subterfuge, rawness is sincere, then display it like we hang paintings on walls.

Somewhere, somehow, I’ll see it. And whatever form you take, I’ll revisit the moment we met without meeting, we gazed without eyes, we loved each other without being.

Gaël’s story:

I am writer, actress and theatre director born in the Amazon in Brazil. My mother is of mixed African, indigenous and white heritage, my father is French.

My fascination with theatre started as a child when reading plays at night with my parents. Strangely, I graduated in Biology but still went on to train in acting at The Grotowski Institute in Poland and the Meisner School of Acting in Los Angeles.

I migrated to the UK 12 years ago, where I’ve been telling stories about identity, displacement and encounters. I wrote and performed solo shows that travelled the world, some to critical acclaim.

I’m currently under commission from Queen Mary University and CASA Festival to create a verbatim theatre play about domestic violence to be performed in October 2017 in London and Rio de Janeiro.

#Imagine2037 celebrates the 20th anniversary of the British Council's Edinburgh Showcase by inviting artists who are migrants, from all over the world, to imagine the future with us.

We've asked eight artists to write about a performance that takes place in 20 years' time on Arthur's Seat, a hilltop overlooking Edinburgh. Watch out for all the imaginary performances in the series – we're releasing one a day from 19–26 August.

Imagine 2037 is curated by Andy Field, Alma Salem, Cathy Gomez and Matt Beavers.

Follow the Imagine 2037 series:

Droneful: Farah Salah invites us to a participatory performance with drones
Red Chaddors:  Anida Yoeu Ali takes us to a hilltop in Edinburgh in 20 years' time
New Water Town: JR Carpenter imagines an underwater city
Six Actions for Transitioning: Maru Rojas suggests six actions for transitioning to a degrowth world
> The TelescopeBrooke Robinson imagines a future of flying cars and extra-terrestrial visitors



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