Open Court: Climate Emergency

Hold a Thought in Your Hands and Twist it into Place in Air

A line from Lia Purpura

Created by Moi Tran

Hold a Thought in Your Hands and Twist it into Place in Air Top / Details / Extras
Wed 25 Mar 2020

“We must put empathy first and foremost if we are to surmount the hyper issues of Climate Change.”

The detrimental effect that climate change inflicts on everyday intimacy and mental health goes under-acknowledged. As global “Climate grief” grows, it is leading to depression, anxiety and a state of climate paralysis; we must find new ways to share in and communicate environmentally-induced mental distress and address the lack of language for eco emotive communication.

A series of video screenings, live music and performances exploring a non-English language emotional perspective of loss and lament found in the intersections directly affected by our climate change crisis.

Confirmed events:

4pm – Video Screening of new work My Paradise by Performance maker and Film artist Quynh Dong.

My Paradise ‘ is about an intermediate world – a model world with real people. A model world Dong’s father made (as an idea of an Asian paradise) serves as the stage for the video. From conversations with her father she learned what dreams he pictures in this paradise for himself and her mother – stories based on everyday life and the world of fiction Asian soap opera . The main characters in this video are Dongs parents.

Five stories depict everyday life in paradise: Flowers are watered, chickens are fed, people are strolling and riding on flying horses.

Dialogue is completely absent from the videos – only five pieces of music accompany the clips. Guitarist and composer Nicholas Erismann wrote commissioned pieces for all five videos, in the style of Vietnamese songs. The scenery of Paradise was photographed and the two protagonists recorded in front of a blue box.


5pm – Video Screening of Performance Film Digging a Hole by Moi Tran accompanied by live musical improvisation.

A Solo Action performance piece.
A Desire to reconcile a physical connection to the Earth.
A Marking.
A Pilgrimage.
A Exorcism.
An Exhaustion.
An Emotion.


6pm – Video Screening of Performance Film THE BOLERO EFFECT by Moi Tran accompanied by live musical improvisation.

‘Without the empowerment gained through music, it is impossible to keep the past alive in the present, or to recognise and respond to the realities that are transforming the present into the future’

Stephen Blum, Philip V. Bolman, and Daniel M. Neumen, eds., Ethnomusciology and Modern Music History

For the 3 months Moi Tran worked to create a multi faceted performance piece to include composition, noise, song, text and action with a local Hanoian community ensemble and creative team.

THE BOLERO EFFECT takes Bolero, Vietnamese populist music and collective song as a departure point to examine the complex transnational identity in the Vietnamese diaspora and homeland. Exploring music/song as a process of repair, a political intervention, a site for resistance and contest, a mechanism for communication, a document of social solidarity and conflict.

November 30th 2019 the premiere performance took place in a site specific location in the centre of Hanoi, Vietnam.


7pm Sasha Ilyukevich and The Highly Skilled Migrants will play for 45 mins on the steps outside the Royal Court Theatre’s entrance.

London-based Belarusian Troubadour Sasha Ilyukevich and his band The Highly Skilled Migrants create an incomparable brew of post punk electric energy and topical lyricism. Ilyukevich writes songs in Russian to capture the essence of Eastern-Slavic heritage and translates his lyrics into English share the nuances of language and emotion. His songs fuse Western and Eastern-Slavic sensibilities to bridge a historical divide and engage understanding between two cultures to reverse prejudice between East and West.

Moi Tran is a Vietnamese artist, working in design, performance and has recently design at the Royal Court White Pearl and Rare Earth Mettle (upcoming).

Part of Open Court: Climate Emergency.
Find out more and see all the events here.

4pm – 8pm

Events are free and open to all



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