CERTIFYING THE TRUTH
“Certifying the Truth” was an interactive, Marathi/English performance in which I offer to certify examples of the “truth” presented by the audience. This piece references a variety of specific experiences of a foreigner living in India. The first and most obvious is the continuous bureaucratic procedures necessary to maintain visas and affiliations. Secondly, as a foreigner in Mumbai I constantly must rely upon and trust others. From small interactions such as buying vegetables or boarding trains to larger negotiations of housing and livelihood, foreigners are dependent on the honesty and goodwill of their neighbors. Lastly, this piece recognizes the subjectivity of the “truth.” In a moment of vulnerability for both the audience and me, I offer to hear and certify varying “truths.”
During the performance, community members transcribed their version of the truth, in duplicate, on a CERTIFICATE OF THE TRUTH. Certificates were accepted in any language, but were only certified if they were written in duplicate form as well as signed and dated by participants. The original CERTIFICATE OF THE TRUTH was presented to the writer and I kept the duplicate.
Later, all of the truths were translated and transcribed. I chose 24 truths which were included in an English/Marathi book titled Everything is the Truth, published in collaboration with Clark House Initiative.