In Theory and Play of the Duende, Spanish poet Federico García Lorca extolled the artistic necessity of duende – a poetic and artistic force that emerges from the darkness of our wounds. Lorca believed that art could only be great when duende was joined with wisdom and inspiration; the romance of angels and muses alone is not enough to create art that resonates with our fleshy, human experience. It was duende I thought of while in conversation with my guest today, Mojisola Adebayo. She is a performer, playwright and theatre maker, who often draws from the deep wells of Black pain to address the extractive practices that have robbed Black people of our lives and environments for 400 years. She marries these histories of extraction with the fantastical, adventurous and more-than-human to create art that challenges, provokes and inspires. Today, Mojisola takes us on a journey from Goldsmiths University to Antarctica, to space and back again, in a conversation that explores utilising performance to challenge the sanctity of whiteness, what an orgasm-seeking space odyssey tells us about the world-changing potential of queer Black pleasure, and how the reanimation of the life and story of Henrietta Lacks prompts us to consider our own genealogical and cosmic immortality.
About Mojisola Adebayo
Mojisola Adebayo is a Black British performer, playwright, director, producer, workshop leader and teacher of Nigerian (Yoruba) and Danish heritage. Over the past 25 years, she has worked on various theatre and performance projects from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. She has acted in over 50 theatre, television and radio productions, and devised and directed over 30 scripts for stage and video.
More information about STARS: https://tamasha.org.uk/projects/stars/
More information about Family Tree: https://www.atctheatre.com/production/family-tree-uk-tour-2023/
About Busy Being Black
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Busy Being Black is an exploration and expression of quare liveliness and my guests are those who have learned to live, love and thrive at the intersection of their identities. Your support of the show means the world. Please leave a rating and a review and share these conversations far and wide. As we continue to work towards futures worthy of us all, my hope is that as many of you as possible understand Busy Being Black as a soft, tender and intellectually rigorous place for you to land.
Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the business community for LGBT+ professionals, students, inclusive employers and anyone who believes in workplace equality. Thank you to my friend Lazarus Lynch for creating the ancestral and enlivening Busy Being Black theme music. Thank you to Lucian Koncz and Stevie Gatez for helping bring new Busy Being Black artwork into the world.
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