To Put on Trial an Idea:
Cousins vs. Political Correctness
Tuliza Sindi, Muhammad Dawjee
19 - The Act of Service
The project questions the negotiation and application of political correctness. It introduces a court case that plays out at Church Square, whose focus is the collected evidence of the life of the 25-year-old white male author playing the role of the prosecution. The project approaches the Square as a theatre stage, with political correctness as the performance/learned behaviour discovered through negative and sometimes threatening experiences to one’s person or character, introducing a fear of its boundaries.
Dan Graham’s article ‘Theatre, Cinema, Power’ describes the theatre as the centre of power, and explains the shift in power dynamic that came with shifting attention from the performer to the audience, thus rendering the performer vulnerable to criticism and visibility – as experienced by the author in the performance of political correctness (Graham, 1999, p.171).
Through delicate, vulnerable and fleeting primary materials, namely paper, light and shadow, the project explores translucency as a way to re-script through absencing, presencing, concealing and revealing. With the added techniques of layering, collaging, tracing and stitching, crucial events surrounding political correctness in the author’s life is pieced together, as well as their corresponding geographies, to unpack the evidence of the arguments both for and against political correctness.
The Production of Evidence. Cousins, G. Unit 19. 2020.