‘Where do you come from?’ – I am rolling this question around in my mind, trying to remember where I come from. From Kolkata? From India? From Bangladesh? From homelessness? From an undefined state of nostalgia? As Lois Weaver introduced several questions for us to think about when we all sat around a circle, I realized we were going somewhere from ‘here’ – the present moment. Within the next few days, about fifteen of us were grouping and regrouping together, playing games, brainstorming ideas, creating rituals and performance pieces, independently and collectively. ‘What do you really care for?’ was another of her questions. ‘No, no, what do you really care for?…no, no, no, no, what do you absolutely really really care for and you think is the most important thing to you?’
We were to ‘occupy’ the Nitery. Not that some of us did not have trouble reconciling with the violence implied in the word ‘occupy’, but we were ready with our different tools to change the world – flashmobs, and story-telling, intimate dialogues, tightrope walking, performance, activism and skits – we ‘occupied’ the space and time with what we had to say, show, perform and resist. And despite diverse personalities, different methods and varied causes, our little space in the Nitery transformed into a space to nurture ‘what we absolutely really really care for’.