MONDAY 6 DECEMBER 2021 20:30
Performance by Philemon Mukarno
Bergensesteenweg 33B, 1070 Anderlecht, België

The Spiritual Suffocation of Suppressed Faith

Imagine being enclosed inside a tightly sealed plastic bag, where the very act of breathing becomes difficult and suffocating. This is the spiritual distress experienced by some Believers due to the suppression of their faith. Within the plastic bag, you find yourself confined to the rigid beliefs and doctrines of the community. At first, you may have felt a sense of security and belonging, just as the plastic bag initially provides some containment. But as time goes on, you begin to feel the constraints and limitations of the bag pressing against you, restricting your spiritual growth and exploration.

The Struggle to Breathe in a Rigid Belief System

Inside the plastic bag, doubts and questions about faith start to arise, just like the struggle to breathe fresh air. You try to find answers and understanding, but the rigid nature of the beliefs stifles your attempts to explore beyond the confines of the teachings. With each passing moment, the lack of fresh air within the plastic bag becomes increasingly suffocating, mirroring the restriction of ideas and beliefs that are not accepted within the Believers community. The suppression of your individual thoughts and unique perspectives makes it difficult to find nourishment for your spiritual well-being.

The Fear of Rejection and Isolation

As you try to gasp for air, the plastic bag tightens around you, just as the fear of being shunned and isolated tightens its grip on your heart. You see others who have questioned or left the faith facing rejection and social consequences. This fear of losing friends, family, and your social support system keeps you trapped within the confines of the plastic bag. The inability to fully express yourself and be true to your own beliefs creates an internal struggle, just like struggling to breathe in an enclosed space. You feel guilt and shame creeping in as you try to conform to the expectations of the faith, but the pressure to perform and meet the rigid standards feels like a heavy weight on your shoulders.

The Turmoil of Suppressed Emotions

The emotions inside the plastic bag swirl like a turbulent storm, but there is no way for them to escape. The pent-up emotions, anxiety, and distress intensify, causing you to feel increasingly isolated and disconnected from your authentic self. However, even within the suffocating confines of the plastic bag, there remains a glimmer of hope. You yearn for spiritual liberation, just as you yearn for a breath of fresh air. This yearning pushes you to seek a way out of the suffocating environment, to find a path that allows you to embrace your authentic beliefs and explore your spirituality freely.

Breaking Free and Embracing Spiritual Liberation

As you summon the strength to break free from the plastic bag, a rush of fresh air fills your lungs, just as a renewed sense of freedom fills your spirit. Stepping outside the suffocating constraints of the plastic bag, you begin to breathe freely and embrace your journey of spiritual exploration and growth. The process of freeing yourself from the suppression of faith may be challenging and transformative, but it allows you to embrace your authentic self and discover a deeper connection to spirituality beyond the confines of rigid beliefs. It is a journey of liberation, where you can breathe freely, nourishing your soul and embracing your true spiritual path.

Philemon Mukarno bleeding and naked inside the plastic bag suffocating

A broken development!

The performance depicts a person whose youth is cut off by dogmas. A broken development!
This mold can last a lifetime without spoiling. In fact, the dogmas stick to skin and hair. Each fiber reacts according to the pre-programmed pattern. In this performance, the protagonist has wrested and uprooted himself from guilt and expectations according to which pattern the indoctrination was established. This new path with its own life ingredients is not instant, but fresh, so can easily spoil and evaporate: A clear view can evaporate. Fresh ingredients can spoil. The main character counteracts this by allowing himself to be completely vacuumed during this performance.


The newly acquired look, therefore, remains fresh and cannot spoil! However, this is not without a struggle. As a result, breathing becomes heavier and heavier. Almost breathless! It takes courage and stamina to keep going! The air in the plastic bag in which it is located becomes more and more closed off. The texts that were stuck in the head are squeezed out. They are written down by the main character on the plastic walls from the vacuum bag. The red letters trickle away due to the increased heat. Like spilled blood and forbidden tears from her. The texts with the dogmas are liberated from memory and melt. They can no longer be seen! The liberation has begun. But the breath is almost taken. Also for the spectators. Leaving the bag is difficult. A new beginning is possible. There is also the opening of the pores. Through which newly desired ideas from outside are also welcome and can offer reinforcement.


De performance verbeeldt een persoon waarbij de jeugd is afgesneden met dogma’s. Een gebroken ontwikkeling!

Een leven lang kan deze mal meegaan zonder bederf. Sterker nog: De dogma’s kleven zich vast in huid en haar. Iedere vezel reageert volgens het voorgeprogrammeerde patroon. In deze performance heeft de hoofdpersoon zich ontworsteld en ontworteld aan schuldgevoel en verwachtingen volgens welk patroon de indoctrinatie is vastgesteld. Dit nieuwe pad met eigen levens ingrediënten is niet instant, maar vers, en kan dus makkelijk bederven en vervliegen: Een heldere blik kan vervliegen.Verse ingrediënten kunnen bederven. De hoofdpersoon gaat dit tegen door zichzelf gedurende deze performance geheel vacuüm te laten zuigen. De nieuwe eigen verworven blik blijft daardoor vers en kan niet bederven! 


Dit gaat echter niet zonder slag of stoot. Het ademhalen wordt daardoor zwaarder en zwaarder. De adem wordt zowat ontnomen! Er is moed en uithoudingsvermogen nodig om hiermee door te gaan! De lucht in de plastic zak waarbinnen hij zich bevindt sluit zich meer en meer af. De teksten die vastgeklonken waren in het hoofd worden eruit geperst. Ze worden door de hoofdpersoon opgeschreven op de plastic wanden vanuit de vacuümzak. Door de opgevoerde hitte druppelen de rode letters weg. Als vergoten bloed en verboden tranen van her. De teksten met de dogma’s worden bevrijd uit het hoofd en smelten. Ze zijn niet meer waar te nemen! De bevrijding is begonnen. Maar de adem wordt haast benomen. Ook voor de toeschouwers. Het verlaten van de zak is moeizaam. Een nieuw begin is mogelijk. Er is daarbij ook weer het openen van de poriën. Waardoorheen ook nieuw gewenste denkbeelden van buitenaf welkom zijn en versterking kunnen bieden.

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