Teentalitarianism at Week 53 Festival – The Lowry, Salford


Teentalitarianism at Ruhrtriennale Festival 2016. Photo Credit: Lukas Wenniger

As part of the events taking place during this year’s Week 53 Festival at The Lowry, Mammalian Diving Reflex have brought their “Teentalitarianism” project and will be running several events throughout the festival.

Annalise Prodor, Operations Manager and Co-producer of “Teentaitarianism”, describes the project as a festival within Week 53, infiltrated and run by teenagers. Annalise’s role within the shows is to workshop with the teens and facilitate the projects with them. These workshops will then be used to create a performance piece, usually aimed at adults. The idea behind the project was to create a space where the hierarchy and barriers between young people and adults are broken down, and a friendly, open space is created where everyone is on the same level.

Most of their previous work has been in Toronto, were Mammalian Diving Reflex is based but they also have projects in Germany. Company director Darren O Donnell has always facilitated projects with young people, including his 2006 project “Haircuts By Children”. Teentalitarianism came out of this desire to work with young people.

The name “Teentalitarianism” has become an umbrella term that combines past projects such as Dare Nights or Nightwalks With Teenagers, as well as some of the work tried during their time in Germany. Annalise told us, “We tried a few new things and kind of realised that ‘this is performance, this is what they’re interested in,’ and we had to figure out how to make it into something audiences will enjoy, kind of riffing off each other and creating these works of art based around teenagers and their everyday lives.”

“Nightwalks With Teenagers” is one of the events that Mammalian Diving Reflex will be running within Week 53. This particular project came out of the fact O Donnell found that the teens e worked with would deliberately take a longer walk home. Annalise noted that this was because “they don’t want to rush, they don’t want to go home, and whilst they’re walking home they might climb a tree, jump over a fence, or do things that adults just wouldn’t do because we’re in a rush, we have to get home and have things to do and that sort of thing. So Nightwalks With Teenagers all came out of the idea of ‘why is this so different to what adults do and how can we come together?’”

“Teentalitarianism” has events throughout Week 53, including “Nightwalks With Teenagers”, “Sex, Drugs, and Criminality”, and “Dare Night.”