Diasporas Now UK Tour 2023-2024 performance showcase at Humber Street Gallery

Performance art platform Diasporas Now announces the next stop of their 2023-2024 UK tour at Humber Street Gallery in Hull from 6pm-11pm on Saturday 27 January.

Photo: Tara Florence

The tour began at NN Contemporary Art in Northampton on 2 November, 2023, and will continue to a final showcase at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London on 13 February, 2024.

The lineup in Hull features performances by Nadeem Din-Gabisi, Sattva, Bakani Pick-Up Company, Gisou Golshani, James Jordan Johnson, DJ Winggold, and Collectif Echoes spanning performance art, dance, live music, and DJ sets embodying themes of ancestral land, sea and liberation.

The Diasporas Now U.K. Tour 2023-2024 is supported by the Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant.

About Diasporas Now

Diasporas Now is a platform for expanded performance by the global majority, programming curated events spanning museum lates, panel discussions, nightlife, and more. Their community celebrates cross-diasporic identities and champions artists of colour.

The platform creates a space for expressions of joy and the multiplicity of perspectives inherent in the diasporic experience – allowing artists to liberate themselves from the one-dimensional performances of pain that are often incentivised by the white, institutionalised gaze.

Diasporas Now was founded in 2021 by artists Rieko Whitfield, Paola Estrella, and Lulu Wang at the Royal College of Art. Originally focused on live-streamed programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, Diasporas Now has since expanded to live events at the intersection of performance art, visual art, music, dance, and fashion.

The artist-led platform utilises collectivity as a strategy for cultural change, prototyping new ways expanded performance can help people of colour take up space, bridge industry silos, and drive forward the discourse on inclusivity beyond theory to practise.

Prior to their first national tour, Diasporas Now has partnered with South London Gallery, Mimosa House, Reference Point at 180 the Strand, and Harlesden High Street for performance showcases, as well as Royal College of Art, the University of the Arts London: Central Saint Martins, and the University of Cambridge for lectures and workshops.

About the Humber Street Gallery lineup

Bakani Pick-Up is a Zimbabwean-born, Yorkshire-based choreographer and improvisation practitioner.

Their performance “93 Interlude: Pilgrimage to an Alternate Dimension” focuses on the discourse of the Black Dancing body. The work explores how improvisation contextualises Blackness – how autonomy may be exercised through performance.

Sattva is a Vietnamese, Germany-Born interdisciplinary artist based in London known for their geometric movements and depth of musicality – often performing as their alter-ego Sattva Ninja in the ballroom scene.

Their movement and spoken word performance ‘Eye of a Storm’ explores the duality between peace and chaos, and the interdependent relationship of how one cannot exist in this world without its counterpart.

Nadeem Din-Gabisi is an award winning, poet-songwriter and visual artist reimagining blackness as it pertains to his experiences as a British born, second generation immigrant of Sierra Leonean descent.

Nadeem’s performance “flag” will be polemical, comical and consistently questioning what it means to be an immigrant inextricably linked to Britain.

Gisou Golshani is a London-based, multidisciplinary artist. Her ritualistic performances use sound as a medium for multilayered storytelling.

Through movement and chants Gisou interprets a Persian song’s wish for the universe to resolve current entanglements. Guttural and ethereal live vocals are layered onto industrial doom and drone elements. The Persian lyrics call for freedom, and a release from the trap of doomed fate.

James Jordan Johnson is of Afro-Caribbean heritage and from London working within performance, sculpture and research. He is invested in thinking beyond recognized and legible knowledge systems and how such forms of empirical knowledge have reordered how we come to understand spiritual and material forms of culture making.

“Something is Trying to Disappear Me” is a performance exploring the linguistic interest in the Jamaican word ‘yard’, which bears a contextual symbiosis. First within yard referring to soil and flora, to also meaning the living quarters of the home – carrying with it a complex archive of material culture.

DJ Winggold, the stage name of London-based activist, DJ and radio host Charles Olisanekwu, is one of the key minds behind Unbound Events, a London-based events platform using underground music as a vehicle to elevate minorities and raise awareness of social issues.

Drawing from the inherent sense of pain, rage, otherness, beauty and elation in the minority experience, DJ Winggold will be debuting a hybrid rap/DJ set, building a narrative interrogating the experience of what it’s like to be a black man in today’s society. Comprising sounds made solely by black and PoC artists from around the globe, the performance will be a visceral and confrontational soundscape, ultimately giving way to a deep sense of collective catharsis.

Collectif Echoes is a Black diasporic electronic music collective drawing connections between the past, present and future of Afro-diasporic dance music. They reclaim and honour the Black roots of electronic music while showcasing their influence in later emerging genres. Collectif Echoes presents an audiovisual DJ set that contributes to, and celebrates, the Black electronic music archive.

About the Diasporas Now founders

Rieko Whitfield is a Japanese-American artist, musician, and founding director of Diasporas Now. Her practice straddles the art world and the music industry with a recent residency at the Tate, and live performances spanning the Barbican Centre, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Paola Estrella is a Mexican artist working across performance, moving image, and painting. She was awarded the New Contemporaries prize in 2022, and has been exhibited in recent years at South London Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, White Cube Gallery, and more.

Lulu Wang is a Chinese visual and movement artist and current resident at the Sarabande Foundation. She has recently performed at the Whitechapel Gallery, Christie’s, The Place, and Southbank Centre.