We’ve Built Something With No Name, Creating Communities With Strangers

A poem written by Giuliana Kiersz investigates an artists’ residency through sensual storytelling. The self as a starting point develops into many; change is inevitable. Returning to reality with new worlds residing within. The poem was published on the occasion of the publication On Care. A Journey into the Relational Nature of Artists’ Residencies.

by Giuliana Kiersz — Mrz 24, 2023

Akademie Schloss Solitude - We’ve Built Something With No Name, Creating Communities With Strangers

Photo: Olivia Berkowicz

We’ve built something with no name, creating communities with strangers

I think
that I know who I am
I come to a place
and discover myself
I come to a place
and discover
my voice
my habits
my language.
I pronounce words
I’ve never pronounced before.
I learn sentences
and repeat them until they lose their meaning.
I introduce myself to others
and to myself.
I am
the same
and different.
I have a past I can relate to.
I think of the world
in my past
and the places where
I’ve lived
and visited.
I recall my practice
destroy my memory
and build it again.
Who am I today?
Everything I’ve experienced
and everything I own
has taken on
a new
and smell.
Maybe I am not who I believed I was
not here.
I create myself an identity
to move
this new place
and find someone.
I find you.

I ask:
do you know who you are?
Do you know what to do?
Would you like to spend time with me?
I listen to your answers.
I think:
I don’t know anything about the world
about your world.
I ask:
What’s your world like?
I imagine your world
completely different from mine.
I feel
and try to explain my world
to you
my world before you
my world before here
my world before today.
My world that isn’t mine
but here I am
trying to explain it
the defender
of my world
trying to draw a little window
for you
to look through.
This is my world
I say.
This is my world
you say.

Could we build a world together?
Could we create a common ground?
Are common grounds created or revealed?
Are we under the same conditions?
Are we stopping time and space?
What is this that we are doing?

In my world
I think of common ground
and think of
equal opportunities
awareness of difference
we cannot live
under different rules
than the ones
before us.
We cannot decide
to be governed
We cannot become
We cannot create
our economy
and decide,
and rethink
our resources.
We are under these circumstances
and under these circumstances
we asked ourselves,
can we build a common ground
or a world
in which to think
and live

I feel alone.
I don’t want to forget
my world
now that I’ve heard about others.
I don’t want to forget
but here I am
feeling alone and sad.
And I go out
and we find each other
and here we are
feeling sad
We say:
isn’t that nice?
Being sad together?
We say:
there’s something
about the first time
that we feel safe enough
to not be happy.
There’s something
about the first time
that we feel safe enough
to be sad.
There’s something
about the first time
that we feel safe enough
to share
our sadness.
You don’t know my world
and I don’t know yours
but we
share that,
not knowing
being here.

We start saying
I don’t know.
We start saying
I don’t agree.
We start
to do things we’ve never done before
not like this.
We have deep talks
and try to explain ourselves.
Sometimes our opinions change
sometimes they don’t.
We start to look at things
in a way that’s not mine
nor yours.

We don’t forget about our worlds
but we see them differently.
We get closer.
I don’t know who I am
and you don’t know who you are
but we don’t care
here we are
in some time and space
that we’ve built together.

And it rains
and stops raining.

And it’s Saturday
and we feel hopeful
and it’s Monday
and we feel desolated
and we look for each other.
speaking a language that is not ours
or is it?
A language that we invented together
for our new habits
for the places we name after our names
we share words
to say
do you want to have some coffee or
go for a walk?
How are you doing today?
Feeling better?
Feeling worse?
I’m going to the supermarket
do you need anything?
Let’s have a tea.
I love this time of the day.
Me too.

We’ve built something with no name.
We talk about things in different languages.
We get lost.
We take pictures.
We discover shapes in the trees
a mushroom
a face
a vulva.
We let ourselves get wet in the rain.
We dance.
What is this world we find ourselves in?
We’ve built something with no name.


When we were
on the floor
that exhausting day
that we had dinner
and peeled some oranges
and drank wine
and tea
ate chips
and moved from one place to the other
and found ourselves surrounded by balloons
that day that
we discussed your performances
and laughed
and felt melancholic
because we don’t know what will happen
if we’ll see each other again
if it will be the same
that day
that we said:
we are tired
and then
spent hours
talking about that book
and the difference
between narcissism
and love
and we asked ourselves
what’s happening
and slowly
fell asleep on the floor
that day
you told us
that when you love someone
you love all of them
even if you don’t like some things
all of them.

will be the day
when this
that we created
that has no name
will come to an end.
this world
will become
our world
the world that we carry around
and try to explain to new strangers
that don’t understand us
but maybe will

I’m not trying to say
that this is easy
because it isn’t.

I’m not trying to say
that we just need time.
I don’t know what we need
to understand each other
or understand that maybe
we don’t understand each other.

Sometimes we build spaces
that we cannot name
and we transform ourselves
and we return to our lives
with other worlds in our bodies.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - We’ve Built Something With No Name, Creating Communities With Strangers

Photo: Olivia Berkowicz

Giuliana Kiersz is a Berlin-based writer and artist originally from Buenos Aires. Her work explores our relationship with language, reflecting within specific contexts to create fantasies that move our social and political horizons. Her methods often include interviews and encounters. Her texts received first place in the X German Rozenmacher Prize; third prize in the National Theatre Institute’s Dramaturgy Competition; and Maison Antoine Vitez translation awards.

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