2021 trolleybuses in Kaunas
funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture
the city is what we remember of it — our memories are the contextual foundations on which kaunas exists. there are so many memories that i missed as i was growing up in the uk. there is a distance and this distance makes me feel alienated. i feel like i am home. i don’t always feel that others think the same. to me, home is inside people. how can i then be home if no one remembers me? if i can’t remember myself?
Speak Lietuviškai is the sibling performance of Kalbėk English, as both these works explore my transnational identity as a person who grew up between Lithuania and England.
Every day for 20 consecutive days, I rode on Kaunas’ trolleybuses until I had been on all routes twice each (10 x 2), connecting with other travellers through language, memories, reflections, photographs and other forms of immaterial touch.
I chose the setting of the trolleybus as when I was a child in Kaunas, I’d often get on the trolleybus to school but instead of getting off, I would stay there for the whole day, riding in circles and reading. By returning to this space, I wanted to activate my context-dependent memory and the language within it.
I made a poem each day as an offering to the collective memories of Kaunas’ residents. These poems were written on paper made from the water of the confluence of Neris and Nemunas rivers and buried across Kaunas.
Through this performance ritual, I bound myself to the collective memories of the people of Kaunas and began to (re)home myself within them.