Kaneza Schaal is a New York City based artist and performer.

Cartography I


At one point last year there were 30,000 new people a day arriving in Munich. The New York Times reports that there are more displaced people scattered throughout the globe now than at any time in recorded history. For each person the journey to find a place to lay one's head is just the beginning of a longer journey to discover oneself and define one’s place in a world of ever shifting borders and ceaseless conflicts. In their work at the International Youth Library with children who migrated to Munich on their own, Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers found that cartography and storytelling provided the young people a framework from which to unpack the complexities of their maps both internal and geographic.

Cartography 1 is a performance rooted in the commonalities of migration and the concrete and metaphorical mapping at center of all of these worlds in motion. The evening length theatrical work will be built for a traditional proscenium stage. However, the flexible design allows Cartography 1 to be presented in various venues from university auditoriums to outdoor public spaces. Visual tools such as map-making and inventory meet performance tools like filmmaking, dancing; sculptures create a catalogue of both interior and exterior journeys; sound sensor technology responds to the timber of actors’ voices and a virtual storm is activated; cellphones are used to mark memories, the distances we have traveled. The performances will be accompanied by workshops for local immigrant and refugee communities, modeled off Schaal and Myers’ decades of work with youth in the United States and abroad. These workshops will generate materials to be included in the production during the run at each venue.