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Malik Nashad Sharpe in conversation (Arts Weeks 2021)

Venue: Online

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Performer and choreographer Malik Nashad Sharpe shares their new video work, commissioned by OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College. In conversation with Fintan Walsh and writer Hélène Selam Kleih.

Mise-en-Crise is a film that considers choreography as both the site and the scenography of Hope, something performatively carved from crisis and rebellion. Playing with the theatrical concept mise-en-scène (the arrangement of actors in stage design and scenes), this work uses dance as a material tool and texture for elemental seduction and strategic unruliness.

From Night, to Sunrise, to Day, to Night, Mise-en-Crise relies upon a documentary-style framework to follow and visiblise the formal construction of atmosphere and persona. By materialising an aesthetics that is admittedly not-here, unknown, joyous, flamboyant, gestural, defiant and even ritualistic, Mise-en-Crise is making an attempt to create conditional desires for an unspoken and untold Freedom and Fantasy for the marginalised subject. Dancing on top of the vortex of a crafted, apocalyptic visual and subtextural narrative that doesn't give into its own fatalism, yet ruminates on the question, ‘And what to be thrown into crisis?’ We create the possibility of Hope from Nothing. Even if it is unknown. Even if it remains far out on the horizon.

Malik Nashad Sharpe is an artist working with choreography. They create performances that are formally experimental and engaged with the construction of atmosphere, affect, and dramaturgy. Their performances often utilise social themes and topics as portals to unveil and unearth ulterior and undercurrent perspectives. Often making underneath their alias and aesthetics project marikiscrycrycry, they have been especially concerned with the affective and textural qualities of dance and how it can transform, disarm, and critically reflect upon mourning and melancholia.

Hélène Selam Kleih is a writer, publisher and model primarily concerned with the politics of language and its ability to elevate the voices of those marginalised, ultimately working towards the depoliticisation of language. She specialises in post-colonial Francophone literature, undertaking a BA in French and English Literature at the University of Warwick. Her work concentrates on inter-generational trauma as a result of displacement and the abolition of slavery, criminal justice system and data. She is the writer and founder of HIM + HIS, a charity and anthology on men and mental health, and currently works alongside psychotherapy practices offering resources to young black men in the boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth in London.

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