Adelina Ong, BA, MA

Project Title

Compassionate Mobilities: towards a theory for negotiated living

Supervisor

Prof. Sally Mackey

Qualifications

MA Applied Theatre (Distinction), The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

BA (Merit) Psychology & Theatre, National University of Singapore

Abstract

Compassionate mobilities is a theory for negotiated living inspired by urban practices like parkour, art du déplacement, breakin’ and graffiti to explore compassionate ways of being together, in a shared place. The need for compassionate mobilities might be seen most clearly in the hypercompetitive pursuit of upward income mobility through education in Singapore. Compassionate mobilities is a theory that tempers hope (an imagination of the future that compels interventions in the present) and multispatialities (a term I use to describe a way of imagining the future as multiple places, holding multiple narratives, coexisting in the same location) with compassion. Compassionate mobilities is a social mode of living together that attends to the coexistence of many different hopes for a shared place such that one is not advanced at the expense of another.

Observations of parkour, art du déplacement, breakin’ and graffiti were used to develop initial ideas on compassionate mobilities and then developed as a theory over several urban art-inspired workshops in London and Singapore. These urban art-inspired place practices undertaken with young people between the ages of 15 and 25 in school settings. Part I will focus on establishing the theoretical and contextual basis for compassionate mobilities. Part II will offer some ideas for the negotiation of place using urban art-inspired place practices to initiate compassionate relationships and alternative imaginations of the city that are not constrained by fear and loss.

Profile

I have recently completed my PhD at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (Central) and my research explores ways of living together more compassionately, and negotiating the future differently, through urban-art inspired applied performances devised with young people. The urban arts explored specifically are parkour, art du deplacement, graffiti and breakin’ (breakdancing). I have an MA in Applied Theatre (Distinction) from Central and a BA in Psychology and Theatre from National University of Singapore.

I am a Visiting Lecturer at Central, Wimbledon College of Art and Brunel University. I am also a workshop leader for Outside Edge Theatre Company and Society Unlimited. I have served on the executive committee of Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA) as a postgraduate representative (Sept 2014 - Feb 2018).

In Singapore, whilst working for The Old Parliament House, I was part of a small founding team (of three) that set up an interdisciplinary arts school for young people from low-income families in 2008. It offered dance, music, visual arts and theatre and I was primarily involved in curriculum development, outreach, producing and devising the year-end performances for five years. I also personally taught the youth theatre group and the devising of these performances.

I have 21 years of experience as a freelance theatre practitioner, mostly as a performer (stage, TV and film) and performance-maker, collaborating with various socially-engaged ‘troublemakers’ including the2ndrule, a guerrilla magazine, to produce Pulp (2003), a ‘street x art’ festival. 

Practice

2018 Facilitator. Graffiti x place workshop, Brunel University, London

2017 Facilitator. Art du deplacement x applied theatre workshop at a secondary school, Singapore. 

2016 Facilitator. Art du deplacement x applied theatre workshop at a secondary school, Singapore

2015 Facilitator. Graffiti Walk, in collaboration with graffiti artist Stranger, Singapore

2015 Organiser and co-facilitator. Breakin' x Applied Theatre Workshop, Lakeside Family Service Centre, Singapore

2015 Organiser and co-facilitator. Streets of London Graffiti Workshops with Femme Fierce (Artists: Jarvis and Zina), Britannia Village Primary School, London

2015 Theatre workshop facilitator. Danger Risk of Falling, ParkourDance, London

2015 Theatre workshop facilitator. Parkour x Applied Theatre Workshop, ParkourDance Youth Company, London

2014 Organiser and co-facilitator. Art du Déplacement (ADD) x Applied Theatre Workshop, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore

2014 Organiser and co-facilitator. Parkour x Applied Theatre Workshop, Parkour Generations, London

Key Publications

2018 'The Limits of Access: The Messy Temporalities of Hope and the Negotiation of Place', Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance.

2018 'Essai: Falling Slowly: Stumbling Towards an Urban Art-Inspired Place Practice in London' Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal.

2016 ‘The Path is Place: Skateboarding, Graffiti and Performances of Place’, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Vol. 21, No.2: 229-241. 

2015 ‘Creating Places of Radical Openness in Singapore’, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 20:3: 271-77.

2004 ‘Against a Brick Wall’, The Open Page: Theatre, Women, Struggle, Odin Teatret and The Magdalena Project

Conference Presentations

2018 ‘Performing Limpeh’, invited speaker for the Performing Citizenship in Singapore panel at the 2018 Association for Asian Studies conference, Washington DC, 25.03.18.

2017 'For It Was Only as the Writing Faded that the Loss of Place was Felt', TaPRA 2017: Performance, Identity and Community Group, Salford University. 

2017 'On Absence and Reading Into Silence', Intersections 2017 - The annual postgraduate conference of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. 

2016 (with N. Abraham) 'I Didn't Get It! Wanting to Do Disobedience Properly', TaPRA 2016: Performance, Identity and Community Group, University of Bristol.

2016 'Performing Precarity in an Accelerated, Achievement-Oriented Singapore', Theatre Applied: Hard Times: the performance of poverty and social injustice, Research@Central, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. 

2016 'Digital Traces of Lost Places', International Federation of Theatre Research 2016: Political Performance Working Group, Stockholm University, Sweden.

2016 ‘Practice (Confounds) Research: Grappling with ‘Lost Causes’’, Intersections – The annual postgraduate conference of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2015 ‘Battling Fears: A Sea Monster and a Friend’, London Theatre Seminar, Senate House

2015 ‘Moving On: Making Amends and Taking Responsibility for Disruptive Change’, Theatre and Performing Research Association (TaPRA) 2015, Applied and Social Theatre Working Group, University of Worcester

2015 ‘Creating ‘Places’ of Radical Openness in Singapore’, IDIERI 2015: ‘Open Culture in the Asian Century: Reimagining Drama Education’, National Institute of Education, Singapore

2015 ‘Multiplicities’, ‘Utopias, Futures, Temporalities: Critical Considerations for Social Change Symposium’, Bristol Zoo

2015 ‘What is the Value of Being a Public Nuisance?’ Intersections 2016 – The annual postgraduate conference of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2014 ‘Beyond Panopticism: Reimagining ‘Places of Identity’’, City-Centric, King’s College University of London

2014 ‘Compassionate Mobilities and Temporary Places’, Performing Places, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2014 ‘Can Bodies Resist Panoptic Control Through Parkour-inspired Applied Theatre Practice?’ Theatre and Performing Research Association (TaPRA), Royal Holloway, Performance and the Body Working Group, London

2014 ‘Can Urban Arts be Considered as a Form of Applied Theatre Practice?’, International Federation of Theatre Research Congress –- New Scholars Forum, University of Warwick, Coventry

2014 ‘Is Life Not Complete Without Shopping?’ Performance Research, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2014 ‘Can Heroes Limit One’s Imagination?’ Theatre and Performing Research Association (TaPRA) Interim Event, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Applied and Social Theatre Working Group, London

Academic Events Organised

9 February 2018. Executive committee for 'Materials and Materiality: How Do They Matter?', TaPRA PG Symposium, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

29 August - 1 September 2017, Executive committee, TaPRA, University of Salford. 

1 March 2017, co-organiser, Performing Local Places Symposium, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. 

3 February 2017, Executive committee for 'Spaces For / Places In', TaPRA PG Symposium, University of Leeds.

5-7 September 2017. Executive committee, TaPRA, University of Bristol.   

6 February 2016. Executive committee for ‘Thresholds and Permeability in Performance’, TaPRA PG Symposium, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield

16 December 2015. Co-convener for ‘Who Do We Think We Are and Who Do We Imagine Becoming?’ PG Speakeasy, Theatre Applied Centre for Research in Performance and Social Practice, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

7–10 September 2015. Executive committee, TaPRA, University of Worcester

7 February 2015. Executive committee, TaPRA PG Symposium, ‘People and Processes: Behind the Scenes of Theatre and Performance’, University of Manchester

15–16 January 2015. Organising committee, Intersections – The annual postgraduate conference of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

10 December 2014. Co-convener for ‘Dialogue, Collaboration, Conflict’, PG Speakeasy, Theatre Applied Centre for Research in Performance and Social Practice, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

Teaching areas/expertise

Applied Theatre

Contextual Studies (Theatre Design)

Cultural Landscapes (Theatre)

Email

adelina.ong@cssd.ac.uk

Website

onelab2010.wordpress.com/