rather than artist
is how I'm sometimes tempted to describe myself. Trained originally as a political economist, then as an accountant, I translate history into images and stories.
I translate the statistics and machinery of empire, colonialism, post-independence betrayal, the military-industrial complex, into poetry.
I try to convey the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of our global system in accessible and beautiful language, compelling live performance, that enter the hearts of audiences while expanding and challenging their minds.
My work draws as much on the social sciences as it does on the creative arts. Environments that nurture both, and encourage a flow between them, are rare. So it's deeply satisfying to feel those two rivers converge, in all that's happening this month.
Tomorrow, I head for WALTIC
in Stockholm. I'll perform at the opening ceremony (just typing that sets the butterflies freewheeling in my belly).
I will also do a presentation in the Stories And Best Practices
program: If God Were A Ninety-Five-Year-Old Ebony Black Swahili Woman...
Drawing on my experience of being forced off stage at Sauti Za Busara in 2007
, I will talk about the power and impact of fully-embodied live oral poetry. Examine who determines what African audiences hear, and in what languages; how women who speak the body threaten hierarchies of race, class, gender; and explore the enactment of political agendas in the guise of "protecting local culture."