A response and continued conversation to theatre production Grin directed by Mele Broomes in collaboration with Kemono L.Riot, Divine Tasinda and Levent Nyembo. Community-building, refusals, friendship, support and networks of care grounds the development of Grin. This is a reflection of the Black experience in Scotland.
locating maritime memories
bodily movements, bodily moments
freedom submersions; jumping, dreaming
acts of jumping - with one definition being lifted higher, another as moving quickly to do something. counteracting these already decided for definitions, let us consider #3 - jumping to freedom, jumping off/down, jumping to sink/drown.
jumping in three acts: the propelling of our bodies into the air, a fast decision, liberation in immersion
i ask of the sea to carry you safely, knowing that your journey to this dreamland has now become a must. promises made, myths of a better land, feet touching cold british sand - a reversal of my own dreams that focus themselves on reaching her, the motherland.
we locate each other, dreamers in search of utopic mythologies.
sunken and submerged into dreams of new worlds, i ask, i plead, must locate us in this time space history, do i recognise those as being so disparate from one another? this burden of whiteness demands as such. locating is one method of survival, tasked with dreaming beyond the given archival.
geographically reconfiguring the dancefloor through its array of dance and sound, a map of Africa and her Diaspora can be created via movemental activity. the dancefloor becomes a landscape where the many variations of Blackness are able to crowd together, free to meet with Africa herself. unequivocally tied to a connective thread of history and culture through music, rhythm and dance, they are able to locate and dislocate themselves through each movement, moment and step.
mimical bodies that crash against one another
rum and tobacco fill the hold;
heavy, salient with cargo
down the port dock river we float
the wave arches (its),
clap clap clap
is the motion of oceans
dipping becomes dripping
salty, wet, sweat
into the sticky,
as we slide, glide together
in a moment we can forget.
for those that know who and what floats below,
the ocean has its own floor;
its rhythms vibrating at a much lower frequency than the dancefloor
allowing for afterlives counter-memories archives
to float to and from
seabed to the seashore.
place a shell to your ear and listen with care.
Bennett, J. Beyond the Vomiting Dark: Toward a Black Hydropoetics in Ecopoetics: Essays in the Field. 2018.
Boon, S. et al., CHAPTER 8 Water: Flooding Memory in Autoethnography and Feminist Theory at the Water’s Edge. 2018.
Hameed, A. Black Atlantis – Dancefloors and Seafloors. 2018. Walcott, R. The Black Aquatic: On Water, Art and Black Movement. 2020.