About

Our Philosophy

Be inspired through your body, mind, voice and spirit, as you explore the guiding principles underpinning the Arrivals process.

Arrivals Philosophical Framework

The core principles of our philosophy draw on African and Indigenous ways of knowing and being that start from cultural humility and curiosity. The Arrivals philosophical framework below is designed to initiate a journey along a pathway where we interrogate the relationship between the core principles of Ancestrality, Communality, and Affirmation (African aesthetic values first proposed by Trinidadian theatre maker Rawle Gibbons) and how they arrive in our mind, body, voice/breath and spirit.
We believe that the fundamental questions that inform and influence our identity as artists and creators are as elemental as mind, body, voice, breath and spirit.

Mind

Ancestrality

Kinship & Autonomy

ANCESTRALITY

Kinship & Autonomy

Since Indigeneity is linked to water land and all living things—how do we change the language of ownership? Or our own sense of rootedness?

“…without underestimating the importance of positive contributions from the oppressors’ culture and other cultures, [we must] return to the upward paths of [our] own culture”

― Amilcar Cabral

Body

Ancestrality

Kinship & Autonomy

ANCESTRALITY

Kinship & Autonomy

How do we remain responsive to the stories and people who have helped shape us, while still maintaining our autonomy?

“On behalf of past generations the body mediates fleshing out the shadows of ghosts soft songs lurk sometimes so soft—a silence wails and the trumpet of words brings down the Jerichoed walls of silence”

― M. NourbeSe Philip

Voice / Breath

Ancestrality

Kinship & Autonomy

ANCESTRALITY

Kinship & Autonomy

Drawing on the spirit of our ancestors and the shared world, how do we access the values, rites and ceremonies that ground us in our root cultural practices?

“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”

– Toni Morrisson

Spirit

Ancestrality

Kinship & Autonomy

ANCESTRALITY

Kinship & Autonomy

Drawing on the spirit of our ancestors and the shared world, how do we access the values, rites and ceremonies that ground us in our root cultural practices?

"The circle of the dance is a permissive circle: it protects and permits."

– Frantz Fanon

Mind

Communality

Reciprocity & Reflexivity

COMMUNALITY

Reciprocity & Reflexivity

How do we anticipate, meet and respond with integrity in an ever-changing environment?

“People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.”

― Chinua Achebe

Body

Communality

Reciprocity & Reflexivity

COMMUNALITY

Reciprocity & Reflexivity

How do we come to learn, recieve and understand, through opacity, the cultures that hold us in a shared reality?

“We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. If we sell you our land, care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land and the air and the rivers for your children’s children and love it as we have loved it.”

― Paul Chaat Smith

Voice / Breath

Communality

Reciprocity & Reflexivity

COMMUNALITY

Reciprocity & Reflexivity

How do we uncover the powerful potential in collective voice and sounding? Where do I place my voice and find my breath in relation to and across traditions?

“Listen more often to things than to beings Tis’ the ancestors’ breath When the fire’s voice is heard Tis’ the ancestor’s breath In the voice of the waters…”

― Sweet Honey in the Rock

Spirit

Communality

Reciprocity & Reflexivity

COMMUNALITY

Reciprocity & Reflexivity

From where do we source and/or create our own rituals? How and when are these shared?

At certain times on certain days, men and women come together at a given place, and there, under the solemn eye of the tribe, fling themselves into a seemingly unorganized pantomime, which is in reality extremely systematic…

― Frantz Farnon

Mind

Adaptation/Affirmation

Truth & Responsibility

ADAPTATION/AFFIRMATION

Truth & Responsibility

How do we negotiate deeper truths that go beyond our mind’s telling?

“Thought draws the imaginary of the past: a knowledge becoming. One cannot stop it to assess it nor isolate it to transmit it. It is sharing one can never not retain, nor ever, in standing still, boast about.”

― Edouard Glissant

Body

Adaptation/Affirmation

Truth & Responsibility

ADAPTATION/AFFIRMATION

Truth & Responsibility

How do we hold the influence of our root culture up against our modern reality in the same hand, elbow, hip, lip tongue…?

“From within this bright womb I can spiral out into the world again to reconceive of place. I can stretch time. I can erase the artifice of separation that divides today from yesterday and yesterday from tomorrow. In this place all time is the same time. In this place images speak reality, paint truth in believable pictures.”

― Lee Maracle

Voice / Breath

Adaptation/Affirmation

Truth & Responsibility

ADAPTATION/AFFIRMATION

Truth & Responsibility

What are processes that arise in us with respect to using our own indigenous language and the language of the other? How do we reverse our relationship to other?

“I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue - my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.”

― Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Spirit

Adaptation/Affirmation

Truth & Responsibility

ADAPTATION/AFFIRMATION

Truth & Responsibility

How do we hold and carry the responsibility of silence(s) as we recover, share and exchange our root cultural practices and ways of knowing?

“…by various means— shakes of the head, bending of the spinal column, throwing of the whole body backward -may be deciphered as in an open book the huge effort of a community to exorcise itself, to liberate itself, to explain itself.”

― Frantz Fanon