performance + film
a southern wild (stills)
work in progress
a southern wild is a performance film in progress that explores relationships between the black African body, tobacco, and the British impetus to enslave and transit Africans to Virginia for its harvest. It takes interest in tobacco as a sacred plant turned bestializing entity
Recorded in front of the dilapidated remains of a Portuguese colonial building in the African island nation of São Tomé, Pitaya is about the power of migration to disorient over time and reorient in subtle, unexpected ways. Within the textures of a single, layered moment, it pulls gently at the frays of linear concepts of place and presence. The film speculates a reality comprised of visual whispers, dimensional migrations, superimposed flora, and sonic fauna.
videography by Karl Coooney
Set against the audio backdrop of a documentary on Bragoro puberty rites in Ghana, Petal Me addresses the service, wounds, and healing of African womxnhood. The performance casts performer, viewer, and red rose petals as empowered witnesses, privileged to engage in ecstatic gestures of healing and experience intimate moments of safety and surrender.
Performed at "Inertia", a presentation by The Blue Rose at The Ear, curated by Polina Riabova.
videography by Karl Cooney
Performed at the site of New York City's first slave market, on the 306 year anniversary of its opening, Littoral Dissonance addresses the African Diaspora's spiritual connection and disconnections by way of water, and associated pangs of longing. Drawing water from the East River into a holed bucket, the performance carries the bucket and its drippings to the threshold of the studio to perform a ritual cleansing of the space. It then calls viewers in to perform a collective adornment by threading, aquatinted mylar triangles into a necklace.
Performed at Black Gotham
videography by Karl Cooney
Promotion questions cultural orthodoxy from the perspective of dining rules and etiquette. The performance takes its title from the concept in Akan tradition that dining rituals, including handwashing and the choreography of eating with one's hand, are sites where children are observed and assessed to determine readiness for "promotion" into adulthood. Promotion deconstructs western etiquette to reveal absurdities and incongruencies and bare its bones.
Performed at Archive3 at le Petit Versailles
neptunian was inspired by Akan stories of beautiful deities who emerge from the sea. in this case, the shrouded deity returns to the sea to remember her arrival, in an attempt to remember why she came. By the time she reaches the shore and dresses in "commonwealth lace", she forgets again. She will return tomorrow.
African Body Snatchers
A performance by Ama BE, Ayana Evans, Megan Livingston, and Tsedaye Makonnen, African Body Snatchers was a TransAtlantic performance that traveled water from the James River in Jamestown, Virginia to the shores of James Town, Accra, Ghana. It conjured the historical mythology about the restless spirit of the ill-famed, ill-fated Queen Dode Akabi. The performance returns source to source, using waters and the act of water-bearing as a media for confrontation and reconciliation.
Performed at the Chale Wote Festival, Wata Mata (2017)