DON’T WORRY, AMERICA!
DIANE THE AMERICAN SWIMMER / DIANE DWYER
This performance is part of an ongoing persona project, Diane The American Swimmer, which explores nationalism and hegemony through a ridiculous character who will swim, whether there is water or not. She can do anything, ‘cause she’s American.
The piece is an uninvited performance intervention at a convention. Diane The American Swimmer circulates through the crowd waving at attendees, posing for pictures, and handing out US flags and red, white and blue ribboned medals. She is escorted by two bodyguards and a photographer.
The premise of the piece is to create a situation which gives Americans a chance to cheer, not knowing exactly for whom or what they are cheering, and asks them to consider the following questions: What does it mean to be a US citizen in our global community? What relationship do individuals have to their own national identity? How does propaganda function through figureheads? How do iconic figures speak for others? These questions are framed by the legacies of imperialism, colonialism and hegemony; serious considerations that are explored through the ridiculous. Using humor as a strategy is an attempt to give a broad audience a point of access to these considerations.