Boom Arts Presents The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu @ Ellyn Bye Studio | Immersive Interactive Solo Performance
From our sponsors:
The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu
January 18-21, 2024
7:30PM (2PM Sunday) | $20-$35 | All Ages
More info: boomarts.org
Ellyn Bye Studio at The Armory
128 Northwest 11th AvenuePortland, OR, 97209
This January, Boom Arts will bring the South African performance The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu to Portland following its run at the Under Radar Festival in New York. This immersive interactive solo performance was created by 2023 Bessie Award-winning South African artist Albert Ibokwe Khoza, in collaboration with African Entertainers.
The performance sheds light on the violent and shameful history of ethnological expositions, which were once widespread in Western society. Through this powerful performance, Khoza pays witness to the ongoing pain caused by historical and persistent racism, while also engaging in collective healing and the reclamation of dignity. The Black Circus wields theater as a weapon and a salve, turning its gaze outward in service of healing the soul and reclaiming dignity through the power of confrontational art.
“We pay tribute to the spirit of Sarah Baartman and the many Africans whose lives and bodies were turned into a spectacle for white supremacist pleasure. We pay homage to our ancestors who gave up everything for the benefit of the world at large,” says Albert Ibokwe Khoza about the inspiration behind the performance.
Albert Ibokwe Khoza is an internationally acclaimed performance artist who continuously reveals and projects the state of mind of a loner individual who is a non-binary womanly man and a Sangoma (traditional healer). Through their sexuality and traditional practice, they express their thoughts by moving between different artistic mediums to outline social ills and what their divergent nature sees and interprets about the world they live in, critically questioning their surroundings, their leaders, and life itself. They received the Bessie award for their performance in “And so you see … our honorable blue sky and ever enduring sun … can only be consumed slice by slice …”
African Entertainers Consultancy is an artist and asset management entertainment company. Our strength lies in the development and representation of African artists. We champion provocative stories in all genres and our aim is to put Africa on the world map, one artist at a time. Established in 2017 by award-winning Theatre maker Princess Mhlongo and award-winning film director Norman Maake the company has worked with leading artists and organizations in both Theatre and FIlm.