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Translation Between Threshold

Performance duration: 2 hours, Cinemasia, Amsterdam, 2020

Performers: Sanne Kabalt, Nemo Koning, Pitchaya Ngamcharoen

When we are longing for familiar taste to the tongue, we recreate them. The act of longing to the taste, the smell of our comfort food is not at all uncommon.

I would like explores the taste-scape of Northern Thai food base on one’s memory in relation to its limitation in another land. By putting other two cooks to the task of cooking and preparing the food following a direction from a Skype call, they are challenged to create a tastes unknow to them. The audiences will be invited to experience a sensorial meal which bring home to some and transport others elsewhere.

Transition, for me, is never a smooth one.

Crossing borders, many languages, trying to find a place where I’m not being pushed around. The place where it just fit right where there is no question, negotiation, no explanation. A place where one can just be.

When I came,

There were times I couldn’t sleep for months because it’s too quiet

No bats, no dogs howl, no cats fight, no rats bites

But there is always light outside

There were times I couldn’t sit comfortably on a chair, till now

I sit with cross legs and a chair, you know, is not designed for it

There were times I couldn’t feel my appetize, cause the food just smells not right

Transition, for me, is never a smooth one.

There is a proverb says “The speech [that stays] in the belly is the child of your mother, the speech [that springs] from your mouth is the child of your father.

The mother talk elaborately time to time. The mother of my tongue, the mother of my nose, the mother of my ears. She is very much alive without me realize that she is there. Sometimes she speaks through my tongue, salivating my whole mouth when I see and smell food with lots of lime, tamarind and chilies. Just the idea of that mixture of sourness and spiciness stimulate so much reaction in my body.

Like Birago Diop beautifully put “When memory goes a-gathering firewood, it brings back the sticks that strike its fancy.” I cannot say that I fancy sour and spicy food but my body crave. An assertion of gentleness, Mother’s talk does not let itself be caught, for kindness belongs to no system; it stands at the limit of the tale’s moral. As she speaks, she crosses limits, she remembers the texture of memory and if she loses, she loses without losing. The loss of brain, for some, is the healing of an open wound, for others. – K. Hunter Blair

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