"The thing about Detroit," says Liza Bielby, codirector of the Detroit-based performing arts collective the Hinterlands, "is that it's a very radical place. A lot of the conversations that ended up becoming part of the national conversation were already happening around us."
The Hinterlands will revive its 2016 multidisciplinary piece The Radicalization Process at the Co-Prosperity Sphere on Friday, August 24, through Monday, August 27. It's part of "68+50," Illinois Humanities' lineup of programs commemorating the 50th anniversary of the events surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Using dance, physical theater, archived objects, and visual performance art, Bielby, Richard Newman, and Dave Sanders will examine progressive revolutionary acts through the lens of 1960s and '70s America, folding in elements of a "gleefully obtuse" adaptation of Antigone.
"I'm just so excited to be in Chicago," says Bielby. "A lot of the things that happened in that era in our cities are really similar. There were the same groups of radicals moving between the two cities . . . there was all this knowledge exchanged."
Originally inspired in 2014 by the activist movements sparked in the wake of high-profile killings of unarmed African-Americans, The Radicalization Process has taken on additional significance since the 2016 presidential election.
"We leave a lot of space for people to make their own connections and find their own path through the material," says Bielby. "Like one does with history." v