Five Minutes with Jaamil Olawale Kosoko: Séancers
Performance artist Jaamil Olawale Kosoko conjures themes of paranormal activity, loss and resurrection as he explores black identities through his work. In his new show Séancers, Kosoko draws on his own experiences, including the deaths of family members, as well as inspiration from other art forms in a piece that brings together movement, song, spoken word and a live score from Bessie award-winning composer Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. We sat down with Jaamil to learn more...
Séancers is a work that considers alternative ways in which we hold space for loss. And essentially how we fill the space of loss.
To learn how loss can possibly generate new pathways to understanding the self, others, and the process of the world. Holding space for mourning and grief while also creating space for celebration in the presences of community feels important in this moment.
My previous piece #negrophobia was described as a kind of séance as I toured it throughout Europe over the past couple years. It felt like a natural progression to lean more into themes of paranormal activity, loss, and resurrection as it relates to Black identities. Black conceptual technologies such as ‘fugivity’, ‘afro-pessimism’, and ‘intersectionality’ (Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw) have given me a deeper intellectual framework to ground the ideas and metaphors that are situated inside my new work, Séancers. Lastly, the work has literally become a way for me to stay in close relationship to my dead family. I’m the only living member of my immediate family. Have a listen to an interview I recently did here.
What sort of person is going to love this show?
I am consistently surprised with the people who seem to really connect with the show. Queer/trans communities, older people, academics, students, black folks, poets, visual artists.
What will surprise people about this show?
Imagery and poetic metaphor, some fun costumes, kisses.
Find out more about Séancers and book your tickets today.