An investigation of the identity of African American men
The heart of this performance is pain: a poignant story of loss and escape from a hopeless situation. In answer to the violent death of his brother, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko investigates the issues of suppressed racism, violence, stereotyping and secret fascination surrounding Blacks in our culture. As we enter, the floor is strewn with objects: a bottle of household bleach; a basketball and a black chain; photos of black men crying... As the audience take their seats around this, a scantily clad, androgynous figure with gleaming dark skin films the initial reactions. In a show that switches effortlessly between lecture performance to poetry slam to ritual séance, Kosoko explores the contradictory emotions of (erotic) desire and fear surrounding the dark body and confronts the audience with their own latent prejudices.
concept, installation & creation Jaamil Olawale Kosoko performance IMMA, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste & Jaamil Olawale Kosoko design Kate Watson-Wallace & Jaamil Olawale Kosoko costumes Jaamil Olawale Kosoko & IMMA sound design Jeremy Toussaint Baptiste & Jaamil Olawale Kosoko sound manipulation, video, technical support & sonic accompaniment Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste lighting design Sarena Wong production management & lighting assistant Michael McGee dramaturgy Mersiha Mesihovic video design James Doolittle, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste & Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko is a Nigerian American performance artist, choreographer, poet and curator. His work is characterised by a heavily socio-political approach. He has performed in works by the likes of visual artist Nick Cave, Pig Iron Theatre Company and Keely Garfield Dance. His poems and essays appear in a large number of publications, including The American Poetry Review, Poems Against War, The Dunes Review. Kosoko’s own performance work was nominated in 2016 for a Bessie Award and won a USArtists International Award.