Olivia Kristine D. Nieto and Layeta P. Bucoy
University of the Philippines Diliman and University of the Philippines Los Banos
MonoVlog, an Emergen(t)cy Digital Performance
In this performance lecture, we intend to explore the MonoVlog (monologue and vlog) as an emergent mode of performance during the Metro Manila lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented in Facebook Live, the MonoVlog became a series of original digital performances probing lockdown experiences in response to national affairs. Its form is bundled as a proof of life, a COVID 19 health advisory, a private Zoom conversation, a tribute to frontliners, a testimony, a death folder, a shoutout video of advocacy groups, a set of community-led responses to the pandemic, and a #ProtestFromHome movement. The form is being adopted by the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Pilipino, the Bikol community theatre Sining Banwa, and the performance group Icebag Online. The presentation explores the MonoVlog’s aesthetics and sociality based on the reason as to why it emerged as a form and on how it is shaped in the age of COVID-19. In the end, the process of creating a MonoVlog is a testament on how quarantined performance-makers in the Philippines reimagine the future of performance by innovating efforts to make an emergency shift to digital platforms, and by creating virtual communities in the time of the “viral” and the virus.
Olivia Kristine D. Nieto is an assistant professor at the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts (DSCTA), College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines Diliman. She is also an actor in theatre, television, and film.
Layeta P. Bucoy is an associate professor at the University of the Philippines Los Banos. She is a playwright, a screenplay writer, a fictionist, and an erotic column writer.
Keywords: digital performance, protest