|Curated by||Naimonu James|
|Produced by||Dan Fishback|
|Presented by||BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and The Helix Queer Performance Network|
|Stage Managed by||Angelica Rivera|
|Sunday, November 6 @ 6pm:||Taja Lindley|
|Friday, November 11 @ 8pm:||marikiscrycrycry/Malik Nashad Sharpe
Mette LouLou von Kohl
|Saturday, November 12 @ 8pm:||coda wei
|Saturday, November 12 @ 11pm:||Femmepremacy
(off-site at Dorsett, 677 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, ticketed separately)*
|Sunday, November 13 Noon – 4pm:||Free Black Women’s Library
open to public
(free of charge)
|Sunday, November 13 @ 6pm:||A reading of “Permitted” by Kirya Traber|
*The location of Femmepremacy was previously listed as Minka Brooklyn. Please note this venue change! Cash bar available! Main floor and bathroom of Dorsett are wheelchair accessible; downstairs space is down steps. Check back soon for ticket info!
Tickets: $16, $10, $5 (pay what you will) [BUY]
*BAX is located on the second and third floors and does not have an elevator. If you need assistance or have further questions regarding the BAX Building, please email email@example.com.
will you? celebrates Black femme magic and the spectacular. Over four days, 16 artists co-create space for healing, transformation, feels, joy, the divine feminine and much, much more. Artists across different identities have gathered not only share their own work but also to create new ways of developing their crafts. I am appreciative to have been involved in supporting many different works with many different people. will you? is imbued with Black femme subjectivities, politics and perspectives, and I feel this energetic quality has nourished them as it has nourished me in my own life.
will you? opens with a one-woman show by Taja Lindley, who is glorious and takes an entire night of the festival to herself, fitting for a performer who takes my breath away. A week later on November 11th, Malik Nashad Sharpe/marikiscrycrycry and Mette Loulou von Kohl each present solo work that deals at the intersections of identity, self, community and other. That same night, Salome Asega presents an alternate world for the audience to immerse themselves in, a world I do not think the festival could do without. After my first conversation with Malik, in which we both danced around each other’s queerness (the challenge of curating a queer performance festival and not wanting to ask “are you queer?” to someone you’ve never met before!) but were able to talk Black joy, Blackness, movement, among other things. I was intrigued first by the conversation and was swooning by the time I got through Malik’s vimeo profile. I met LouLou when I got the chance to stage manage her work at La MaMa’s Squirts, and knew immediately she was destined to be important to many, many people. Palestine is not heard enough, seen enough or thought about enough and Loulou’s devotion to remedying that erasure is exceptional. Squirts was also where I met Mieke D, who performs a deliciously cringeworthy piece on displacement and queer apathy the next night on November 12th. That night, we party. Femmepremacy will takeover Minka Brooklyn after a full night of performance at BAX, and I expect to dance with all the cute femmes. No one creates space like Shayna Janelle can, and she makes it so folks can get their life as safely as possible. Before the party coda wei performs an experimental work, and just afterwards, I try my hand at directing the work of Katherine Marie while Chahney Hinds and Malik Nashad Sharpe bring it to life in strange and beautiful ways. On a recent job interview I was asked, “Who’s a great thinker you know?” and “coda wei” was the only response that made sense. They blow my mind, and this audience is fortunate to be in their presence for 20 minutes. Katherine and I went to school together, and I am so glad we got the chance to reconnect and honor each other the way two Black femmes should. Katherine is brilliant and her work is deeply challenging to me, it will make people pause and that is what I like best about it. Sunday November 13th, the archive is celebrated. At noon the Free Black Women’s Library will open free to the public for people to lounge, read, and trade books. There will be a special performance while the library is up as well. Just after, the festival concludes with a reading of “Permitted” a play written by Kirya Traber whose awareness of the archive is rare and her ability to craft contemporary works with it extraordinary.
will you be able to access self-love just a bit easier? will you remember to light that candle and thank your ancestors? will you turn toward your lover one more time? will you finally turn toward yourself? will you refuse that white man? His money? His power? (Lord.) will you start doing some of your own work and taking care of your own mess? will you?
About the Artists
Taja Lindley (b. 1985) is a writer and artist based in Brooklyn. She is the founder of Colored Girls Hustle, and a member of Echoing Ida and Harriet’s Apothecary. Lindley considers herself a healer and an activist, creating socially engaged work that reflects and transforms audiences, shifts culture and moves people to action. She uses movement, text, installation, props, ritual, burlesque, sound and multi-media to create performances that are concerned with freedom, healing and pleasure. She is currently developing a body of work recycling and repurposing discarded materials. Her artwork has been featured at the Movement Research at Judson Church, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), the Gallatin Arts Festival at NYU, WOW Café Theater, La Mama Theater, living rooms, classrooms, conferences and public spaces. In 2014 she was a Create Change Fellow with the Laundromat Project and a participant in EMERGENYC. In 2015 she was a Fall space grantee at BAX.
marikiscrycrycry (Malik Nashad Sharpe) is an avant-garde choreographer and video artist based between New York City and London. He has been making choreography and video work for five years. Primarily interested in ontological Blackness and Queerness, his work relies on choreographic process and praxis to discourse on the state of political affairs. He has presented his work at the Bonnie Bird Theatre (UK), Secret Project Robot Art Experiment (USA), AKC Medika (HR), CLOUD at Danslab (NL), Otion Front Studio (USA), ShuaSpace (USA), FiveMyles Gallery (USA), Theatre Utopia (UK), the 62 Center for Theatre and Dance (USA), Bushwick Open Studios (US). He graduated with highest honors in experimental dance from Williams College, and holds a Diploma in Contemporary Dance from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance. He recently founded ian’s RESEARCH BODEGA, a studio-lab for performance aesthetics research in London.
Mette Loulou von Kohl was born from the orange at the center before the new world came. Currently based in NYC, Mette Loulou is a mixed, queer femme, born to a Lebanese/Palestinian mother and Danish father. She is fascinated by the intersection between her personal identities as a jumping off point to reveal, dismantle and rebuild realities and dreams. Mette Loulou weaves movement, words, and her love for the unexpected into the exploration of her embodied histories. She is a graduate of EMERGENYC- the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program, and is the co-founder of the performance collective A Beautiful Desperation. Mette Loulou has performed both nationally and internationally in Canada and across Europe.
Salome Asega is a Brooklyn-based artist and researcher whose practice celebrates dissensus and multivocality. Through participatory research, she works collaboratively to build interactive installations and to develop odd wearables. She is the co-host of speculative talk show Hyperopia: 20/30 Vision on bel-air radio and the Assistant Director of POWRPLNT, a digital art collaboratory. Salome has participated in residencies and fellowships at Eyebeam, New Museum, and the Laundromat Project, and she has given presentations at New Inc, Performa, and the Schomburg Center. Salome received her MFA from Parsons at The New School in Design and Technology and her BA from New York University in Social Practice.
coda wei is a nonbinary femme adult teen robot living in Philadelphia. They are co-writing a serial episodic epic with Jai Arun Ravine that is being revealed at http://noodlecroons.tumblr.com. They are a poet.
Mieke D is an interdisciplinary performance artist, educator, and mixed-race femme of Asian and European descent. Her original work has shown at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), the Nuyorican Poets Café, Dixon Place, Dance New Amsterdam, Under St. Marks, Bushwick Open Arts, NYU, and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (Hemi). Collaborators, past and present include: zavé martohardjono, Kyoung Park, Julia Crockett & Colin Self, Taylor Mac, Brooke O’Harra & the Dyke Division of the Two-Headed Calf, Ping Chong & Company, The Foundry Theatre, La Pocha Nostra, Cornerstone Theater Company, Target Margin, Stephen Wangh, and John Jeserun. Mieke is a proud founding member of A Beautiful Desperation–her queer, multi-racial, experimental performance collective–and company member of LAVA–a feminist acrobatic dance company based in Brooklyn, NY. The seeds of this piece were planted during a Summer Space Grant at BAX in 2015, and cultivated during Squirts 2016!
Katherine Marie is a writer from Trinidad and Tobago currently based in California. Her writing has been supported by Lambda Literary Foundation, Kimbilio, Callaloo and VONA/Voices, the University of California-San Diego and Harvard University. She writes and performs her relationship to color – material, socio-cultural, spiritual – and the language which allows us to perceive it. You can find out more about her work at www.kmagard.com
Ola Ronke is a Brooklyn born Nigerian, interdisciplinary artist, cultural worker, yoga teacher Black radical mama, intuitive femme, light warrior, dance machine, nature junkie and world traveling witch on a mission to create and nurture spaces that enhance and cultivate feelings of freedom, peace and joy. She is also an award winning art director and set decorator for film and TV, and the Creator/Director of the Free Black Women’s Library.
The Free Black Women’s Library is an interactive mobile pop up library and installation that holds a collection of 420 books written by Black women from all over the world. All races, ages and genders are welcome to bring books written by Black women to the library for donation or trade. All genres are accepted and each pop up features performance, readings, soundscapes and exploratory conversation that centers the lives and stories of Black women and girls.
Kirya Traber is an actress, playwright, and cultural worker. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Lincoln Center Education, and is on faculty at the School of Drama at the New School. Kirya received her MFA in Acting from the School of Drama, is the recipient of the California Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Robert Redford’s Sundance foundation award for Activism in the Arts, an Astrea Lesbian Writers Fund award for Poetry, and is a former judge for the LAMBDA Literary Awards in LGBT Drama. Kirya is an alumnus of the 2010 VONA/Voices retreat for writers of color, the 2012 EmergeNYC intensive at the Hemispheric Institute, was a 2014 Space Grantee at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and is an alumnus of Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute. Kirya writes and performs for the stage, and facilitates collaborative art projects in community-based settings, and within the juvenile justice system.
About the Curator
Naimonu James is a curator, writer & digital strategist with visions of a 4th house made of wood. They have curated shows at Dixon Place, The Charles Hamilton Institute for Race and Justice, and Harvard College, where they graduated from in 2014. They have been on the production team of several Helix Queer Performance Network productions over the past two years.
About The Helix Queer Performance Network
The Helix Queer Performance Network is a collaboration between La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, seeking to nurture emerging queer performers, empower diverse queer communities, and celebrate the legacy and lineage of queer performance in New York City. Through educational initiatives, innovative stage productions and challenging public conversations that prioritize justice across age, race, class and gender, Helix aims to foster an inter-generational, multi-racial, multi-gender performance community where artists can document a broad spectrum of queer experience in the context of a rich artistic history.
Learn more at helixqpn.org
Submerge is funded in large part by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.