Episode 6 Transcript

Billie Grace  0:00  
Hi, 

zoe glen  0:00  
hello, 

Billie Grace  0:01  
Hello podcast. We have another guest. 

zoe glen  0:05  
Yes, welcome back to Episode Six of The Not-God Pod. Today we have the lovely Rebeka with us to talk about a new project - Rebeka would you like to introduce yourself?

Rebeka Dio  0:25  
yeah, sure. I'm Rebeka Dio and I'm a theatre maker, performer, director part time barista - think that's very important to mention. And all kinds of creative person. I'm originally from Hungary. But I'm London based at the moment. And I did college with these two guys. So yeah, I know them pretty well. So yeah, thank you so much for having me. And I'm really excited to chat about whatever I've been up to. 

zoe glen  0:59  
What have you been up to Rebeka? 

Rebeka Dio  1:01  
Yeah, so. So I was going to talk to you about the post human symposium, which is my new project that I started out of college. So I wrote my dissertation on post humanism, and the post human performer in theatre. And I wanted to develop on the idea, practically as well. But obviously, during the pandemic, that was a bit more difficult. But now that we're out of it, um, I've been holding on to this idea for about a year and a bit. And then I thought, you know what I can, I can actually do this, like, I'm still really excited about this subject, I still really want to do it. So I started setting it up, I started talking to people. And now it's all set up, and we're ready for our summer research project. 

Billie Grace  2:01  
Exciting. Do you want to tell us what you mean by post-human? 

Rebeka Dio  2:06  
Yes. So I think an easier way to go into it is actually kind of explaining to you what we want to do in the post humanDi symposium. And then I'll explain why post humanism because it's, I'm in no way, an expert on the subject. And there's just so much, you could talk about it for hours, and everyone's interpretation of the subject is different. And there's so many academics writing about this. It would be impossible for me, Rebecca, Dio, 26 years of age to explain to you exactly what post humanism is. But I guess a good place to start is that, so at Posthuman Symposium we want to present to the audience and to the public alternative futures, by alternative futures. I mean, we.. we're acknowledging that, you know, we're in a crisis in different ways, in terms of human and non human oppression, and the climate crisis, neoliberalism and capitalism. We want to offer up alternatives when, because when you think about these, like massive subjects, it's really difficult to imagine a way to solve them. And I think the word solve is not quite the right word either because it It assumes that there is an end product, and there's an end, but I think it's more of a process. So it can be very easy to be all doom and gloom about it. Like there's this whole thing about climate Doom ism. I'm not sure if you've read the new UN report on climate. 

Billie Grace  4:04  
Yeah. 

Rebeka Dio  4:08  
We're pretty 

Billie Grace  4:09  
doomed. 

Rebeka Dio  4:11  
Yes, I can I swear in this podcast?

zoe glen  4:13  
Yeah, you can.

Rebeka Dio  4:15  
Well, we're pretty fucked, right. But to fall into climate doom-ism would mean that we just accept our fate. As you know, we're fucked already. There's nothing I can do about it. Especially the West and the Western media. Just loves an apocalyptic narrative. Just, you know, like, from all the films to all the post apocalyptic novels, you know, like, I love them. Don't get me wrong, but if that's all we ever see, then it's impossible to imagine a better future and then I was thinking about how how that future would look without obviously thinking of it as a utopia because utopia again, just imagines as a set state of being like a perfect state of being, which I don't think will ever happen, because it's a process and it needs to change.

But, um, yeah, I was thinking about how that future would look like. And I just couldn't imagine it. Like, I don't know about you. But if you think about, like, you know, and non sexist, non racist world where there's no capitalism, like, the climate is great. Like, it's impossible to think about it, because it's so integrated.

Billie Grace  5:48  
Yeah, I find it hard to even imagine a non capitalist society. And I'm like, very much trying to do that in everything that I do, but it's super hard.

Rebeka Dio  6:00  
Absolutely, like we've been born into it. For like, literally, we've been born into it. And it's impossible for people to even believe what not living in capitalism would be like, to the point where you know, they just accept this system, they don't even realise that they're living in the system, and that some of their troubles are part of the system or because of this system. So I thought, you know what, let's start small. Let's start with a collective effort. Me, Rebeka Dio of 26 years of age living in London will not solve the world's problems. But maybe, maybe if we get a group of people together, who have discussions about these projects, not projects sorry about these topics, bring their own perspectives into it, people from different backgrounds, from different genders. Have a discussion about this, that's already opening and opening up a conversation. So I have this idea of artists coming together and having a conversation. And then later on creating response pieces, or installations, or performances based on these conversations. And I guess the whole idea is that this space is experimentative. So we're taking big concepts, we're experimenting with different futures, which showing people an alternative to right now. And it's not going to be perfect, but it also can't be a singularity. It has to be lots of different things and lots of different pieces that kind of work on the collective imagination. Because if we lose imagination, then where are we then we've just accepted doom. But we don't, we're not there yet. Even though it's very, very close. We're not quite there yet. There is ways we can improve and people need to see and people who have hope, I think, have much greater power to move things and to change things than being burnt out, which I think we all want to avoid. So yes, that's that's the premise of the project is for artists to come together, have these discussions, and then create performances in a very open and supportive environment and then show those little pieces. And then you had the question of why post humanism, right?

zoe glen  8:46  
Yeah.

Rebeka Dio  8:47  
I'm wondering, do you guys know anything about first humanism, or have you heard anything? 

Billie Grace  8:53  
Not past my own common sense. 

zoe glen  8:56  
Yeah, not past....I know what post is and  I know what humanism is That's as far as we've got. 

Rebeka Dio  9:05  
I think that is a very you know, an etymological understanding of the subject. It's always a great way to start. Yeah. If you don't start an essay with opening up the dictionary, looking at the definition of what is human, what is post? 

zoe glen  9:25  
Big Questions

Rebeka Dio  9:27  
Yeah, literally. And that's how like, you start, you know, defining your own terms. So yeah, so it, you know, it's not very far your understanding of it. There is in obviously, there's lots of academia about it. My understanding of post humanism is following lots of readings of Francesca Fernando and Rosie... Rosie Bray Dotty They are Incredible academics and And Francesca Fernando does this divides personalism into three things from one, and it's post anthropocentric. So, post anthropocentrism is basically like without human exceptionalism. So looking at the human as not the centre of the universe. As a species, we are not the centre of the universe, we know this. And I think it's quite a different thing of, you know, understanding that we are in our own species. So obviously, we're going to think ourselves a bit special. And it's not about you know, returning to ground zero. And going back to nature, because going back never works. But it's just acknowledging that fact that humans are not special just because they're humans, you know.

And looking at the world without this post, anthropocentric view, it exists in lots of cultures, its existence... it's existed for a really long time. So it's nothing new. In lots of indigenous cultures, they have the understanding of, you know, themselves as being equal, or like part of nature, not just included in nature. There are some languages where nature doesn't exist. So the word nature doesn't exist, because there's no way to define it, because it's not different. So, you know, for us, we make this distinction of nature being, you know, not human made, or not the city but, there's no need for that, you know, and in some languages, there has never been a need to make that distinction. So that's like, number one. 

Billie Grace  11:55  
Interesting, do you know what languages or like, what cultures? 

Rebeka Dio  11:59  
No, I need to look more into it

Billie Grace  12:02  
if you find out, we'll put it in the show notes. Because that's, that sounds interesting to me. 

Rebeka Dio  12:06  
Yeah, I can, I can look it up and try to, like, send it to you. As, by the time this podcast comes out, but yeah, it's super interesting. And yeah, it's, it's in so many cultures, and so many beliefs and more ancient religions, this understanding. And obviously, then there's another element to post humanism, which is, as you've said, post humanist. That post humanist in a sense that it's humanism, as, as the belief so like, with the Enlightenment in Europe, with the rise of, you know, rationality, and, again, human exceptionalism, but not just human exceptionalism, this was humanism, very much centred around the Eurocentric idea of the white man. So it's literally about you know, the gods complex...which you are.. trying to go against like, if it is all to do with the ideas that the not-god complex is also doing. Um, yeah, just going against this idea of the Eurocentric white heterosexual men as, as, as normal, or as the I didn't even give us an idea or the standard, you know, everything else is an other. So there's an element of othering. And I guess what post humanism does as well takes this othering aspect, the furthest saying that, you know, like the ultimate other can be like, would be like human, but everything else, we're human, everything else is another. But obviously, we're trying to deconstruct that European ideal of... Eurocentric ideal of man. Because it also, I guess, you know, the whole thing about the Enlightenment is that the human or men, more and more, especially because women have never really been involved in the rational side of things and women have never really been thought of being rational. But that man is, you know, a rational, logical human being and that means that we make the right decisions that that means everyone else is wrong because science and science as an ultimate Not, not anti science. I mean, not recognising. The history of these sciences. 

Billie Grace  15:02  
Did you say you're not anti science or into science? 

Rebeka Dio  15:04  
Yeah, I'm not I'm not anti-science. 

zoe glen  15:07  
We believe in science guys

Rebeka Dio  15:11  
come onn here being a science denier.. No, it's kind of just acknowledging the history of the sciences. And that it's it is not in any way objective. Because it is, if it is, if it's being carried out by a homogenous group of people, for example, heterosexual white men, then the results of the finding, obviously, depending on what they do, and how they do it can be obviously, it's still subjective in that way, depending on what methods they use, what control group they have, you know, that's, that's their whole discussion with AI and gender, and AI being thought of as a very objective thing, because it's literally a computer, but it works with the data its fed. And if the data is missing, like if there is a data gap, which there is or the data is already sexist or racist, then the result will be also that it will be biased. So post humanism is also post humanist because it goes against that idea that we are that rational, and objective people. And it also acknowledges that not everyone's being considered human, not everyone of the homosapiens species have been considered human, for all of humanity... Like, for example, in Greek society, that's where anthropos comes from the word for human and, and you know, there again, Francesca Fernando, Professor Francesca Fernando has a really great video on this and some writings about how in Greek society, you had the idea of who was human, you know, you had to be of the species, Homo sapiens. So not not a god or goddess or a mythical being - great start. And also, not... and you have to be Greek. So barbarians....

Billie Grace  17:48  
They're not humans. 

Rebeka Dio  17:49  
They are not technically humans. No....

Billie Grace  17:55  
That's us from Eastern Europe. That'd be us.

Rebeka Dio  17:58  
Yeah, yeah. No...In Greek times.. I think I think I would have been a skippian. From the... you as well? or you, you would have been part of ancient Greece.  I actually think you would have been. Yeah, cuz. 

Billie Grace  18:15  
Really?

Rebeka Dio  18:17  
No, I'm not sure.

Billie Grace  18:18  
I don't think so. I think Croatia was part of ancient Rome, but not sure Greece.

Rebeka Dio  18:24  
Oh, wow. Sorry to whoever's listening...our geographical skills are not great

zoe glen  18:31  
We can't figure out which of us are human so..

Rebeka Dio  18:36  
Yeah, absolutely. So, in this idea, you know, we are, you know, not everyone has been considered human. Hmm. Up to this point. So, we can't all start with the assumption that human means the same thing to every single person. Or that human means something. You know, we're doing this because we're human. What does that mean? You know, yeah. Especially when we love to...we love to associate things like positive things, kindness and compassion as very human and aggressive things as very animalistic, right? We're othering the animal as well here and saying that, you know, it's not...Oh, that person such an animal? 

Billie Grace  19:30  
Yeah, 

Rebeka Dio  19:31  
because they've done something negative, or we're doing something positive and it's such humanity or such human. Yeah.

Billie Grace  19:45  
Interesting 

Rebeka Dio  19:45  
I forgot where I was going with this so it is that associating ourselves with the positives and like the greatness of the human, and so on this sense, it's post humanist. So as the third the third kind of concept, Within post-humanism is that it's also non dualistic. So, again, this is something that has been in many different cultures, it's a really big thing in Buddhism as well, that the world is not made up of binaries. I think we can all agree on that. And and so it looks at different dualities. As you know, it doesn't exist, and it doesn't help us. And while we have a dualistic thinking, and we take part in othering, there will be always a new other. So. So while there's many, like, there's a lot of examples of othering, at the moment in our society, but we can even think about new bits of things with technology. You know, if we solve everything right now, we will find a new other, if that is the logic behind our thinking. If we if we always keep defining ourselves as not something else, like, we're human, because we're not animal, we you know, we live in this city because we don't live in nature or we live in nature, because we don't live in human made places. So for post humanism to work, for us to move forward. We recognise that we have to stop dualistic thinking - this is really difficult. Obviously, there's lots of efforts being made. But even things like it's a really big thing with technology. At the moment. I think there's a lot of a lot of people that are very anti tech, that say, Ah, you know, back in my days, we didn't have any of this tech, and I was fine, which is fine. But we are not back in those days. And we're never going to be and if we if we keep looking at the tech, our phones or anything else, like a either an all in or like all or nothing. Like it's not going to help us because technology's here, and it's not going away. So we need to learn a way to live with it and find the best way to live with it and not look at it as another. So yeah, we have to just kind of find a way to live with these technological advancements. And augmented reality cyborgs, you know, cyborgs are a very interesting topic, I think is obviously.

zoe glen  22:52  
Do you want to it's tell us a bit about cyborgs? Give us some context. 

Rebeka Dio  22:58  
This is the part where I tell you I am in fact, the cyborg. No, but like, it's like, what do you consider a cyborg? Someone who has a pacemaker? Would you say that's a cyborg? 

Billie Grace  23:17  
Yeah, I mean, some Yeah. 

Rebeka Dio  23:20  
You know, um, and that's the same with our phones, for example, if you rely on your phone every single day, to tell you where you go to give you information, when you say that's kind of like an extension of yourself. Yeah. Because you are relying on that technology, that your idea, your identity, is no longer just you. It involves that technology, it involves that even that social media self, your idea of yourself has changed completely from what it was before. (disturbance in sound)

zoe glen  24:00  
Are you a cyborg? 

Rebeka Dio  24:01  
Yes.  (like a robot) technical problems. Yeah, it's like, society has completely changed because of technology. We are looking for a way to to live with that and for that to be a positive thing. And here I want to mention obviously, that the distinction between transhumanism and post humanism transhumanism, you know, the idea that we're going to improve ourselves and become the super humans and give ourselves technology that's going to make us I don't know, be able to see in the dark or whatever or like live forever. That is a completely almost opposite idea of post humanism, because it also relies on you know, who are we  upgrading that relies on that humanism of the  Eurocentric idea of men. And you know that we're going to be superhuman, I'd say transhumanism is more like super humanism. You know, it's human plus. Rather than looking at what we should be already looking at, or the people that are disadvantaged. It looks at furthering something that doesn't, it's a question of why, you know? 

Billie Grace  25:33  
Yeah.

Rebeka Dio  25:35  
So, so it's different. But yeah, I've talked for a long time. I never said why, why I want to work with post-humanism. And I think, as a philosophy, it gives us a really great lens to give us these alternative futures, obviously, because it looks at the human as a as a process rather than a fixed entity. He said, like, the human is an open notion. It gives us so much to play with, and to redefine ourselves to define solutions in a way that doesn't build on these already existing oppressive systems. So yeah, so for me, that is the reason why post humanism is a great lens, because, you know, it looks at it accepts the past and what we've done so far, what human has been, and then looks at the future with kind of this openness and creativity, and as a as a process. So I think that's just so much. There are so many extremely interesting questions, like the whole thing with like, nature and culture not being a dichotomy. From You know, it does our phone, like, do our phones make us post-human? basically. I don't know. But it's an interesting question. 

Billie Grace  27:17  
Yeah, 

Rebeka Dio  27:18  
yeah. So that's, that's basically what, what I do. Thank you... thank you for listening to this. Because I don't think I've been able to explain to people this extensively, what I think.

zoe glen  27:34  
in terms of how this as a piece of philosophy kind of links back to what you were saying at the beginning about the project and kind of performance as I guess a place to start in considering alternatives as a means of avoiding complete sense of paralysing doom. Like, how can you give us like an example of the how this might translate into that performance?

Rebeka Dio  28:12  
Oh, yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. So So one example I can give is, for example, like as a positive outlet, I don't know how much you know, about afrofuturism, like, black quantum futurism is kind of this like, positive. It's a very specific, positive exploration of what the future looks like, that doesn't, you know, erase those cultures doesn't erase indigenous cultures. It combines ancient knowledge with futuristic technology. So it moves ahead with the two like, for example, Black Panther, although, you know, questionable, because it's produced by Disney and Marvel, and that's like a big capitalist power. But the idea itself, is that off, combining those two, combining those ancient knowledges, not being completely like transhumanist have, like, are we moving away from everything we've done so far? So that's one example. I can think of another one is obviously exploring things I've been really interested in exploring gender, gender, and sexuality and anything in between and that being like a process, rather than a fixed thing, as well. And, and, you know, lots of people have been writing about that. And that is a future where you can you can explore sexuality and gender, you know, like, what, what does it like labels are important, but also, what does it wor;d look like without labels? or, where, you know, it's we're stripped off those limitations. I don't know if that makes sense. Yeah. That's why I need the help of artists.

Billie Grace  30:07  
Have you started already working on some specific project?

Rebeka Dio  30:14  
Yeah, so so I've, we've have actually posted the artist call out today. But we have our summer research project, actually, it's in September. So I guess it's autumn research project now. In the new forest, we had the lovely Forest Forge Theatre Company, give us their space and give us support. They're incredible. They've been supporting us for a couple of months now, and we've been in chats with them. So we have a space. And then I've been trying to kind of sort out accommodation and money, you know, finances has been a bit difficult without funding, but we are getting ahead. And we are going to get, you know, artists together. And the reason I wanted to do it somewhere rural is to have that, to have, I guess, nature, if you call..if you will call it that... available to us kind of to take inspiration from to have both the urban and the natural sites, for the artists to work in. So it doesn't have to be in a theatre space, even if it's available to them. It doesn't need to be. And yeah, and I hope this is gonna, you know, this is our first project, this is going to be a pilot, and see how it works. And hopefully, it's gonna be a constant thing we don't have we had an online scratch night as well that you did some great things for Billie..That you can, I think, I'm not sure if you can still check it out, I need to check that.

Billie Grace  31:53  
A little while ago, I looked on the on the twitch link that was still available. But also my thing is on our website. So you can go see that.

Rebeka Dio  32:01  
Ah lovely, well there you go..there's both, like your project. And I guess that's the whole idea for for this project as well. People can bring existing work and have, like, rejuvenated or have some support, or maybe look at it from a completely different lens. And that gives you an opportunity to develop. So yeah, no, that's that's the idea. Hopefully, we're going to have more. In the future. I've personally not worked on anything artistic, just because it's been so much time organising the event itself. I didn't want to take away from that by dividing my time. Hopefully, once it's up and running, and next year, it can carry itself. Or I can ask facilitators to, you know, come in, and I know exactly what I want them to do. So I can then go away as well and create artistically, because that's where my passion is in performance in creating theatre. But yeah, hopefully, once that's up and running, I can kind of create as well. And that's why I guess I can't really say any great examples to you because I haven't really, really thought about what I would do.

zoe glen  33:21  
Thank you very much for coming and talking to us about post-human symposium. Would you like to tell us where people can find post-human Symposium on social media, etc. And we will link everything in the show notes.

Rebeka Dio  33:37  
Yeah, absolutely. Email us at posthumansymposium@gmail.com. And our socials are we were only on Twitter and Instagram at the moment. Both have at posthumansymposium as the name, so if you put that in, hopefully it will come up. We're just trying to keep everything simple. So you can find us on that you can send us an email. And you know, we're always up for connecting with more people. So even if someone just wants to chat wants to say, Hi, I'm interested in this too. I'd love to get involved, then do please message us. Because we're always..we always love to have more collaborators. Great. Thank you so much for having me here.

Billie Grace  34:24  
Thank you for coming. This has been a super interesting conversation and to be honest, I I feel like we could go on for hours. Yeah.

zoe glen  34:32  
However, We're going to wrap it up here. leave us a review. Let us know what you thought. Share the podcast. Subscribe.

Billie Grace  34:42  
Tell everyone about the podcast. 

zoe glen  34:45  
We'll be back next month with Episode Seven which is a bit mad but here we are. You can find us on social media at thenotgodcomplex on Instagram and Facebook at NotGodomplex on Twitter. You can email us at thenotgodcomplex@outlook.com or you can find everything on our website, thenotgodcomplex.com. Thank you for listening. And we will speak to you next month. Thank you to Rebeka for joining us. 

Billie Grace  35:22  
Yes, thank you. 

zoe glen  35:25  
Good bye.