Open Letter From Deborah Emmanuel

  • Written by  Deborah Emmanuel
  • Friday, 08 January 2016 13:53
Published in Arts  
|   Tagged under   
Deborah Emmanuel Deborah Emmanuel Image © Victoria Siew Pei Ling

“Definitions are confounding. To me, everything is a formless mass,” says Deborah Emmanuel – Multi-slam winning Singaporean spoken word artist.

Within this mass, I know there is me (some kind of self thing). I know there are trees. I know there are saws which eat through the trees. I understand that saws can eat trees... But what is the tree? Is the tree only there for the saw to eat? To chomp in its metallic mouth until it is satisfied with the mercilessness of the task? Sometimes it seems that way. We know why the tree is there. Clearly, it is there to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen so that we can breathe it.

Since it is always about us.

Everything that we define is so... Human. Everything that exists we think exists because we see it. Because we know it is there. But we don’t know. We don’t know anything.

Well. Maybe I don’t know anything.

Deborah Emmanuel© Marc Nair

Except that I can make a number of statements about my self thing:
My self thing writes things.
My self thing loves things (again, I cannot define that).
My self thing is sad sometimes.
My self thing wants to be a good self thing.
My self thing comes from a very small island.

Sometimes other people are confused about how my self thing can speak English so well.

Ludicrously, the geographical location and relationships surrounding our birth can decide how relevant our self things are in the macrocosm. It can also decide whether anybody knows our self thing exists. We are all just squawking into the cacophony, hoping another self thing hears us. Somehow my self thing is heard. I think it is because I was born in Singapore, which is rich, and because my mother was a physically attractive woman.

Yet with thinking and feeling all these things, I still have the audacity to stand in front of a room full of people, reach my fist into my mouth, and pull out pieces of my self thing to lay at their feet. Even though I don’t know anything. Even though to me, everything is clouds.

I must be crazy.

OR... I could be a revolutionary artist and you should come to my gigs.”
– Deborah Emmanuel

Deborah Emmanuel Tour Dates

Wed 20 January – The Pheonix Club (Canberra)
Thurs 21 January – Camelot Lounge Marrickville (Sydney)
Thurs 28 January – Ancient Would (Adelaide)
Sun 31 January – The Coffee Pot (Adelaide)
Thurs 4 February – Jive (Adelaide)
Sat 6 February – Open Studio Northcote (Melbourne)
Tues 9 February – Ferdyduke (Melbourne)
Sun 21 February – Foundry Records (Brisbane)
Wed 24 February – New Globe Theatre (Brisbane)
Sat 27 February – Pallet Bar & Brew (Brisbane)


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