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Roots & routes

Etherington House
7 June 2022
3–6 pm

Free, drop-in performance by Montreal-based artist, Kama La Mackerel.

Roots & routes is a durational performance by Kama La Mackerel, where they bring together ritual, chant, movement, poetry and storytelling to explore the roots and the routes of Black people who have spread across the global diaspora, often through forced displacement. Inspired by conversations Kama La Mackerel has sustained over months with chef and culinary artist Marissa Leon-John, this performance-in-installation brings the queer/trans Black body in relationship to the earth in what becomes a pilgrimage, where limbs, skin and muscles map new cartographies into the tastes, smells and textures of the soil.

In this work, La Mackerel excavates the roots that have accompanied Black diasporas across the globe—literally, as the food we eat; spiritually, in the ways we live, resist and thrive. Presented as a durational piece within an installation, this performance invites the audience to engage with the work exhibited in their own time, in non-linear ways, where traces of the performance remain embodied in the space, beyond the presence/absence of the performer’s physicality.

Named after the god of love, Kama La Mackerel is a multilingual writer, visual artist, performer, translator and educator who believes in love, transformation and justice. Their work ventures beyond the borders of disciplinarity and creates hybrid spaces from which to enunciate decolonial and queer vocabularies. Wholeheartedly invested in ocean narratives, island sovereignty, transgender poetics and ancestral healing, their body of work challenges colonial notions of time and space as these relate to history, power, language, subject formation and the body.

lamackerel.net // @KamaLaMackerel

Portrait of Kama La Mackerel. Photo: Noire Mouliom

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