TeAda Artists and creators of Refugee Nation Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng utilize their TeAda methodology to facilitate storytelling and theater workshops for recent refugees. They have supported numerous arts and healing spaces in various artistic, teaching and organizing capacities.
Why is this work political?
This work is deeply rooted in non-western, decolonial methods of knowing, learning and building community. Drawing on a history of popular, non-western and indigenous performance from around the world, TeAda sees performance and storytelling as a ritual space, a space to return to and shape our understanding of ourselves in relationship to each other and the world. The space allows for power to emerge and develop within each participant, and for a culture shift that is more aware of the nuances of the breadth of stories in the room. Different experiences of systemic oppression are no longer seen as obstacles, but rather as places for learning, reflection and solidarity building. This also provides more room for leadership of women, queer and trans people, disabled people, and those with non-verbal learning styles to be amplified within the space. This sort of cultural work is essential to incorporate transformative organizing that helps to support a new vision of existence that connects internal and relational movement to institutional and systemic analysis and accountability. This is a way to support deeper roots of solidarity, popular education and movement-building.