Scars are a map of our collisions with the world

Some Collisions is a performance installation that synthesizes stories of science and scars with compelling media narratives, creating a map of our collisions with the world. It is an evolving work by Josephine Dorado and Phillip Gulley, first realized as part of a residency at MassArt in Boston, Massachusetts. Dorado and Gulley ran workshops and a symposium on “Connecting Communities through Transmedia Storytelling” and produced a site-specific version of Some Collisions.

As physical beings, we collide with other beings and objects, and some collisions leave scars. Every scar represents a negative space — an absence filled with a presence. They manifest physically and emotionally: on bodies, in minds, and on the landscapes that surround us.

The observation of collisions is an attempt to gain meaning: collisions unveil the fundamental questions of nature and being. Scars give us deeper meanings about ourselves. By mining and combining stories throughout different communities, such as the Fulbright community, refugee communities and other groups, a continuous narrative will be woven that explores personal as well as cultural scars and the moments in life that make our tissue more complex.

Imagine a 9/11 survivor explaining the terror of that day and the scar left on the city in the form of the memorial and memory, a mid-twenties Brooklynite recounting a story of cutting her finger while chopping fruit for a party, and a survivor of bombings in Angola reliving the tragedy of their body’s and their home’s loss. Imagine these stories blended, overlapping, media expressing each person’s tale. Through these stories, perspective is gained on the nature of scars: the nature of tragedy and hardship. Each person holds scars, each scar is a story. These experiences temper us and make us stronger, just as steel is strengthened. The physical world and the principles that guide it will be compared to the personal stories — contrasting the material of life with the process of living as elements that are complex and fragile.