'I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron,' a Theatrical Ode to the Working Class
by: The Beat Asia
April 19, 2023
"I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron" is a production created and produced by Canada-based composer Njo Kong Kie named after the poem of the late worker-poet Xu Lizhi of the same name.
In this work, Njo brings Xu's poetry to the piano, human voice, theatre, and video to create a "requiem for our digital age" that offers a look into the struggles of factory workers and stands in unity with the working class the world over.
Xu, before his demise by suicide in 2014 at the age of 24, worked at the assembly line of the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, where he made electronic parts for devices. He often wrote about labour, exploitation, and existence in gut-wrenching, sobering poems that rang true for many workers' experiences.
The show is a tribute to Xu's work and life, as well as the countless workers everywhere who toil day in and day out so others could have the luxury of electronic devices.
Njo's scores for piano and solo voice are melded with video imagery, which are at once a "contemplative landscape – and a powerful insistence of Xu's humanity."
"This is a work about human dignity and economic injustice, each set against the other in a conflict as familiar as it is tragic," according to the show notes via the Damansara Performance Art Centre (DPAC). "In the synthesis of the two artists, we have a vital human document, an act of political witness, and, not least, a performance of great beauty."
"I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron" will be shown at the DPAC from April 28-30. Get your tickets here.
Location: Damansara Performance Art Centre, Empire Damansara, Jalan PJU 8/8, Damansara Perdana, 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
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