9 - 12 Jul 2021 / Time to be confirmed

Mojisola Adebayo : Family Tree

Mojisola Adebayo presents work in Berlin connected to a project commissioned by Actors Touring Company (ATC) and the Young Vic. Produced by Counterpoints Arts as part of our Across Borders programme, supported by Comic Relief.

Black British Berlin-based theatre artist Dr Mojisola Adebayo, who has worked on theatre and performance projects internationally from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, will be undertaking research and development and presenting work connected to a commission from ATC and Young Vic, alongside discussions and a four-day workshop with Dr Nicole Wolf, for and with artists of refugee background, located in a community garden in Berlin. The work connects to the subject of migration, environmental racism and climate justice, through a female African Diasporic lens. It makes the connection between extraction from the land and the Black female body as a site of extraction.

Mojisola Adebayo is a playwright, performer, director, producer, workshop facilitator and lecturer. Over the past 25 years she has performed in over 50 productions, writing, devising and directing over 30 plays. Her own plays include Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey, Muhammad Ali and Me, and I Stand Corrected. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she is currently on a research fellowship exploring theatre, literature, environmental racism and climate justice at University of Potsdam, just outside Berlin.

The scenes Mojisola will present in a public garden in Berlin, directed by Matthew Xia, are inspired by Henrietta Lacks, an African American tobacco farmer descended from enslaved people, whose extraordinary everlasting cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951, are still multiplying after her death and continue to be used in medical research all over the world today. Scenes will also feature Anarcha, Betsey and Lucy, three enslaved African American women who were operated on without consent or anaesthetic and are the forgotten ‘mothers’ of modern gynaecology.

The scenes focus on these Black women, whose lives, bodies and legacies have affected every European family and individual today, yet most have never heard their names. The work seeks to draw a map on which their names are placed. The trans-Atlantic slave is a story of mass forced migration and its Diasporic afterlives continue that migration story. The slave trade was environmental, slavery was agricultural and the legacies can be seen in climate injustice today. Accompanying workshops and discussions will engage with questions of climate justice, environmental racism and migration.

The producer for Counterpoints Arts in Germany is Natasha Davis.

9 - 12 Jul 2021
Time to be confirmed