This volume documents the creation of Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way, a play written and performed by Monique Mojica with collaborators from diverse disciplines. Inspired by the pictographic writing and mola textiles of the Guna, an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia, the book explores Mojica’s unique approach to the performance process. Her method activates an Indigenous theatrical process that privileges the body in contrast to Western theater’s privileging of the written text, and rethinks the role of land, body, and movement, as well as dramatic story-structure and performance style.
Co-authored with anthropologist Brenda Farnell, the book challenges the divide between artist and scholar, and addresses the many levels of cultural, disciplinary, and linguistic translations required to achieve this. Placing the complex intellect inherent to Indigenous Knowledges at its center, the book engages Indigenous performance theory, and concepts that link body, land, and story, such as terra nullius/corpus nullius, mapping, pattern literacy, land literacy, and movement literacy. Enhanced by contributions from other artists and scholars, the book challenges Eurocentric ideologies about what counts as “performance” and what is required from an “audience,” as well as long-standing body-mind dualisms.
Monique Mojica is an Independent Actor, Playwright, Dramaturg, Theatre instructor, lecturer, and Artist-scholar.
Brenda Farnell is Professor of Socio-Cultural & Linguistic Anthropology and American Indian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.