Come sit on my face one last time is a concert about the future of nature and the human race that lasts exactly thirty minutes.
One of the conundrums of contemporary globalised life is how to be in relation to eco-humanitarian crises from afar. Where this ‘from afar’ is mostly reserved for people living in the global north. Come Sit On My Face One Last Time stages this conundrum through an encounter with the statistical truth that “Every 30 minutes a farmer kills themselves in India.’ Since 1994 over 400,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves, many of whom cotton farmers. The largest wave of recorded suicides in the world.
This work is not an attempt to propose a solution to this crisis. This is not a call to action. It is not a commentary or an explanation. At best it is an attempt to digest what we already know is true, it is a forecasting, a mythical prophecy from the deep past and near future.
The audience is seated on a tribune facing a blank wall. The lights dim and slowly the line ‘Every 30 minutes a farmer kills themselves in India’ appears on the wall. When the countdown from thirty minutes begins, the music revs up. Breathing down the neck of the audience is Anno Domini, as he sings over accelerating hyperpop beats with the vengeance of a horny bloodhound. And the next moment he whispers sweet lullabies drifting on eerily slow dreamy soundscapes. The illusive singer of Intimidation Tactics accelerates time until ‘nothing human survives the future’. As the concert rushes towards its inevitable end the mythical, irreverent and weirdly perverted songs clash into the future abstracted image of the suicidal cotton farmer.
Come sit on my face one last time is a part of the larger Birth of Cotton project. Birth of Cotton is a long term multidisciplinary theatrical research project about the future of human-nature relationship and its collusion with western colonialism, epistemic violence, capitalism and extractive mechanisms that have been at play in the cotton farming sector in India. In this project we explore the longterm history of cotton farming in India, farmer suicides in India and the emergence of new forms of nature, such as toxic environments, transgenic cotton and other developments in synthetic biology.
Made as Intimidation Tactics with: George Demetriou, Julia van der Putten and Agat Sharma
Performed by Jurgen Unom Gario, for Despair is too Easy (NTGent/Théâtre de Liège), November 2022
Written reflection on political theatre and violence by Agat Sharma: