Winter in America: "State of Emergency"
Winter in America is Sacred City | pearl ubungen's latest project. Riffing on Gil Scott- Heron's seminal 1974 work, Winter in America is steeped in the past two years of crises and extremes, culminating in what here in San Francisco is being referred to as a "State of Emergency". Told from the perspective of one body, my body; one mind, my mind, Winter in America is a moving contemplation on the notion that what we need is a state of evolution.
As a fourth generation Pilipina America, born and raised in SF, I reflect on Anti Asian hate crimes, the pandemic, gentrification, and displacement. Looking at widespread loss, mourning deaths from Covid 19 and police use of excessive force, violence/hate crimes and the ongoing crisis of houselessness. Weaving poetic texts, excerpts from the late bell hooks, insights from Mumia Abu Jamal, with sonic and movement improvisations, Winter in America is a provocative lamentation that reflects on our time now, and in the New Year of 2022 seeks dialogue, communion, compassion and solutions in the face of enormous disparities and injustice.
The performances are intended to premiere in San Francisco's Richmond District alongside the now shuttered Alexandria Theater (since 2004)and currently shuttered but soon to re-open 4 Star Theater, and expand to other neighborhoods to possible parklets when vacant and small venues such as the Mercury Cafe (where Ms. Ubungen regularly improvises with musicians). Winter in America utilizes the theater locations to frame the narrative of the movie that is San Francisco today. Part horror story, part cinema verite, Winter in America is a solemn depiction of urban struggle related through music, movement, text and projected images from the City scape.
Funded by San Francisco, CA (January 2022)