“Patawili is where people come to farm together, to make food together, to dance together,” artist Ani Gavino explains. A product of her mini-residency through Asian Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists, Gavino will be presenting her multidisciplinary work of the same name during a dress rehearsal at 7:30pm on October 18 and a performance and dinner on October 20. Both events take place on the third floor of the Asian Arts Initiative building at 1219 North Vine Street.
Gavino illustrates the balance of Americana and Filipino culture through her work, hoping to help Filipino and Filipino-Americans connect with each other and their cultural identity. This hands-on event will consist of Kamayan (a meal traditionally eaten with the hands instead of utensils) catered by local Filipino restaurant Lalo, a participatory art installation on the effects of colonialism in the Philippines, a folktale performance, and a historical movie screening. In her dance theater piece, Gavino and her daughter recount the Tagalog folktale of the goddess Bighari and the rainbow’s origin, a story that reflects the way Gavino views her relationship with her cultural identity. The movie, created by Gavino, her family, and many Filipino volunteers, chronicles a retelling of the story of Magellan, offering an alternative narrative to the flattering and sanitized version many in America have grown up hearing.
Celebrating Multicultural Identity
Inspired by her daughter, Gavino very intentionally centers on themes of Filipino identity, and the constant tug-of-war between alienation and belonging that immigrants and members of the diaspora may feel. She finds ways in both her personal and artistic life to celebrate the beauty of this in-between-ness as a fully formed and valid experience. “I want [my daughter] to feel like that’s okay, this hybridity and the responsibilities that come with it; trying to get to know who we are but also the privilege with it, because she’s like a bridge between past and present, home and here,” she says.
What, When, Where:
Patawili will take place on October 18 and 20 from 7:30-9pm on the third floor of the Asian Arts Initiative Building at 1219 N. Vine St. The dress rehearsal is free and open to the public; tickets for the dinner and performance on October 20 are $5-$20 and are available here, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The event is wheelchair accessible; some food may contain allergens including pork and fish.