Skip to content

Recording: 2016-09-03 , Tanz im August 2016 | HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU3) (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko


Tanz im August 2016 | HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU3)

Production Details / Press Releases

An outcry or a provocation? Performance or autobiography? Pain lies at the center of Jaamil Olawale Kosoko’s performance “#negrophobia”, a personal story about loss and the luck of escape. In response to the violent death of his brother, Kosoko investigates the living conditions of African-Americans in the US, dealing with themes such as patriarchal and misogynistic attitudes, a lack of education, police brutality and murder. An artist and poet with an immense physical presence, in his lecture performance, Kosoko navigates between personal and social concerns. “#negrophobia” reveals the contradictory feelings of desire and fear that are associated with black male bodies – a relic from the days of slavery, which is continually confirmed through media representations. Kosoko’s questions are also directed at the public: how are we personally involved in the construction of racism? What do we see when we observe black bodies on the stage? The performer weaves together a complex web of associations and references, he connects the real with the fictional, and clearly exposes the permanent transgressions of boundaries: politics is not just rationality and language, but also emotion and body. “#negrophobia” is a séance: the stage becomes a site confession, the alter of a celebration of life and its sacrifice. Kosoko is accompanied and mirrored by IMMA/MESS, a spectactular dancer and performer who incorporates drag elements into the performance, and deals with the subject of bodily politics in a non-verbal, seductively ambiguous fashion.

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko is a Nigerian American independent performance and humanities curator, producer, cultural strategist, poet, and performance artist currently based between Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia. With his creative partner Kate WatsonWallace, he co-directs anonymous bodies, a visual performance company focusing on innovative approaches to curation, performance, and education. Kosoko is a Co-Curator of the 2015 Movement Research Spring Festival and the 2015 Dancing While Black performance series at BAAD in the Bronx. He also is an inaugural APAP Leadership Fellow; a 2014 American Express Leadership Academy alum; and an inaugural graduate of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University among others. Kosoko is a Founding Advisory Board Member of the Coalition for Diasporan Scholars Moving and was most recently elected to the Executive Committee on the Board of Trustees at Dance/USA. He has sat on numerous funding and curatorial panels and is a contributing correspondent for Dance Journal (PHL), and Critical Correspondence (NYC). Kosoko has created original roles in the performance works of visual design artist Nick Cave, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Keely Garfield Dance, Miguel Gutierrez and The Powerful People, Headlong Dance Theater among others.

Cast & Credits

In Loving Memory of my brother Abdul Muhammad (1992-2015)
Development, concept, installation: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
With: IMMA / MESS, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Stage: Kate Watson-Wallace, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Costume: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, IMMA / MESS
Sound, video, technique: Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste
Light design: Sarena Wong
Stage manager, assistant light: Jonathan Gonzalez
Dramaturgy: Mersiha Mesihovic
Video design: James Doolittle, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Assistant Studio: Aaron Philip Maier
Publishers, Blake Zidell, Associates: Emily Reilly
#negrophobia was supported by: Gibney Dance

Tanz im August 2016
Artistic director: Virve Sutinen
Executive Producer: Sven Neumann
Production: Isa Köhler, Andreas Skjönberg, Andrea Niederbuchner
Assistance of Artistic Director / Production: Marie Schmieder
Tanz im August is a festival by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, funded by the the Capital Culture Fund and the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.

HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU3)

Tempelhofer Ufer 10
10963 Berlin

Tickets: +49 (0)30 259 004 27

Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):

University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

To top