Orbiting around race, gender, sexuality, and cultural heritage. Navigating the experiences of Black bodies moving through time and space.
'Spheres & Circles, Circles & Spheres' (formerly titled 'Portrait Noir') is an ongoing multilocal, intergenerational, dialogue that centers the perspectives of Black people working in a variety of different fields including art, academia and activism. Themes and subject matter are explored through indigenous and diasporic traditions and practices including but not limited to: ritual, myth, movement, and the usage of Indigenous languages.
Each performance is preceded by a closed conversation which takes place over dinner, with previous discussions leading to a live exploration of topics such as: Black Sisterhood, histories of homosexuality in Africa, mothering Black daughters, decolonising science, Black art, and relationships between cultural appropriation and misogynoir in gay/queer spaces.
Curated by Isaiah Lopaz, Featuring Adeola Aderemi, W.G.S.J Isenia, Lili Mbida, Kopano Maroga & Isaiah Lopaz
Isaiah Lopaz is a queer, African American, interdisciplinary artist and writer of Geechee and Indigenous heritage who is currently a local of Brussels, Berlin, and Glasgow. His work has been featured in the 10th Berlin Biennale, The HAU, The Kunstenfestivaldesartes, Tedx Uni Heidelberg, and the 7th Afro-Europeans Biennal. Lopaz is currently writing his first novel, a work of fiction concerned with race, sexuality, and migration.
Adeola Aderemi is a multilingual, multi-local and multi-format artist, scholar, activist, and healer. She received her Masters of Science in Public Health at the Birmingham City University, working as a curator, yoga therapist and editor in chief of Distinguished Diva. Adeola is the founder of ‘Distinguished Diva’, a collective that fosters community building, communication, outreach and global accessibility for women of African descent with a focus on telling and amplifying stories told by these women.
Lili Mbida is currently working as a caretaker in a plus spectrum resting home and is a singer at heart.
Kopano Maroga is a performance artist, writer, cultural worker and co-founding director of the socio-cultural arts organization ANY BODY ZINE. They are currently working as a programmer and dramaturg at Kunstencentrum Vooruit in Ghent.
Wigbertson Julian Isenia is a PhD candidate working at the University of Amsterdam. His work centers on the concepts of gendered and sexual citizenship beyond their legal conceptualisation in Curaçao and Bonaire through an analysis of cultural articulations and practices such as archival collections, literature, theater, and cultural performance. He investigates how these cultural practices and articulations grapple with recent developments pertaining to sexual and gender minority rights, tourism, the colonial relationships with the Netherlands, and their historical legacy. He is also co-founder of Black Queer and Trans Resistance and the Black Queer Archives.