Dr. Luis C. Sotelo-Castro
Senior Lecturer in Drama, Applied Theatre and Performance
University of East London
In my current practice and research I am exploring walking art as a means to facilitate listening of real life testimonies by young perpetrators of crime. More specifically, my project The Most Convenient Way Out (Southbank Centre, London, 2014) invites participants to walk in silence with a young individual for 15 minutes as they both listen to a true testimony of one youth who was part of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, but who is now in search for a 'convenient way out' of their cycle of violence.
This intervention aims at discussing The Most Convenient Way Out as a possible model for socially engaged artists to combine walking, participatory performance, site-specific strategies, documentary theatre, and sound art to engage audiences in global cities with questions about what's happening to young people who end up involved in terrorist acts. A possible step towards the future of walking art, it will be argued, is to apply it to the search for the biographical and spatio-political forces that might be driving a number of young people in zones of conflict – our global cities - to join extremist organizations.
Luis Carlos Sotelo-Castro (PhD) is a Colombian artist-researcher now based in the United Kingdom. His practice is performance-based. He creates live environments of memory in collaboration with other artists and participants from specific communities and locations. He has done work with and for internally displaced people, Indigenous communities, and elderly people both in Latin America and in the UK.
In his current practice-based research, he explores whether and how participatory theatre and performance might facilitate listening. The Most Convenient Way Out, an ongoing project on listening, performance, and audio-walks in zones of armed conflict was commissioned by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration and premiered in Colombia in July 2014. A second version was featured as part of the Why? What's happening for the young festival at London's Southbank Centre in October 2014.