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After Life by Jack Thorne
Courtyard Theatre

dir Shanice Sewell


Play Fight

Seven Dials Playhouse
dir Leian-John Baptiste


Eve & Cain

Queens Theatre
dir Sonny Nwachukwu

Black Is...

Sadlers Wells



International tour
FUBUNATION silent company

Netherlands tour
Conny Janssen Dance Company


Dance me to death

Kensal Green Cemetery
Advantages of Age


When I wake

Olympic way, Wembley
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Fact Commission: Julianknxx – Cool Burn

Fact Commission: Julianknxx – Cool Burn

Bantutronic is the name chosen by Julianknxx, THABO and a host of musicians and vocalists for their ongoing project connecting the foundational stories and languages of African people with contemporary sounds and voices. Both a collective and a broader artistic practice, Bantutronic is the banner under which Julianknxx unites with other artists who identify as coming from the Bantu diaspora, descendants from the speakers of Bantu languages that span across several hundred indigenous groups in sub-Saharan Africa. “There’s a spiritual element to it,” says Julian of the project, “as well as sort or cry, a call and response.” Cool Burn, a short film directed by Julianknxx featuring music by THABO and producer Aron Kyne, is a piece created under the Bantutronic principles, featuring the yearning movements of dancers Nafisah Baba and Theo ‘Godson’ Oloyade and performances of Mayowa Ogunnaike and Rhys Dennis. In his narration, THABO meditates on the ecstatic highs and emotional lows of human relationships. “The song is about words, the treachery of words, the danger of words,” Thabo says at the start. “It’s this idea that you can say a word, one word that can mean so many different things. But also it’s the idea that words can remind you that you said them. There will come a point where you will say something and then remember yourself saying it. And either you will enjoy that memory or you will regret that memory. So words will revisit you once they’ve been spoken.” The film’s title comes from the Bantu practice of the controlled burning of grass before it turns into tinder, a “cool burn” in order to prevent a devastating bushfire. “In my conversations with Julian, we talked about how many Bantu cultures carry out a controlled burning of their fields, in order to refresh and restore them before the rains come. Relationships can also be viewed as that field, it is essential on some level, to burn the relationship down so it can reveal its’ true essence once again, so it can forget itself and then know itself anew. So in that case the lament caused by love is part of love as well.” “So I’ve loved, and I’ve now lost love, and the pain of losing love is so severe that I want love to come back,” Thabo reasons in the film. “But feeling the way I feel knowing that this is what it costs to have love, do I actually want it to come back?” Speaking from the pain of this loss, which the singer understands in the most serious terms of grief and bereavement, he gestures towards an emotional controlled burning, ripping it up and starting again. “If you could (re)design breakups what are some of the thoughts that would cross your mind?,” Thabo adds. “What principles and philosophies would you lean on?” The collaborative process behind Cool Burn involved several iterations of the film, which began with simpler aims before expanding into the piece it is today. “First of all Julian is a genius because of his simplicity of insight,” THABO says. “This started off as a music video but after watching the initial shoot, Julian came back and decided that there was more to do, more to explore. One of the Bantutronic principles Julian practices is to use every part of the animal, not just the choice cuts. This honours and respects every element of the artistic endeavour. My role was to be a sous-chef, to yell ‘`YES CHEF’ when Julian called for ingredients.” Cool Burn also allowed THABO the opportunity to explore his own heritage as an Ndebele man through the use of symbols that hint at a greater meaning. “These are Ndebele symbols and many people have seen them before,” THABO explains. “However not many people know that each symbol has its own significant meaning. There are nearly 50 symbols in Cool Burn. By combining the symbols we were able to uniquely ‘chapter’ the piece. It will be revealed over time what each of the symbols mean.” The subtitles that appear throughout are in Zulu, a Bantu language that has ties to the Northern Ndebele dialect. “The subtitles were Julian’s idea and it just so happened that I’d been speaking to a Zulu friend of mine the day before,” THABO says. “If ever there was a big neon sign about what to do that was it. Thandanani absolutely came through with the interpretation, it has a gravity that makes it hard to tell which came first – the text or the spoken word.” The music, written by THABO and Aron Kyne, provides an emotional backdrop for the stunning cinematography by Pablo Rojo and performances of Nafisah Baba, Theo ‘Godson’ Oloyade, Mayowa Ogunnaike and Rhys Dennis. You can find both THABO on SoundCloud. For more information about Julianknxx and his work you can visit his website or follow him on Instagram.
WeTransfer presents Black Corporeal (Between This Air)

WeTransfer presents Black Corporeal (Between This Air)

Black Corporeal (Between This Air) is a critical examination on the relationship between materiality, and the black psyche. Exploring the idea that our ability to breathe - an act that is continuously challenged by everything from air pollution, stress and anxiety and societal prejudice - is more than our lungs ability to take in air, but a reflection of the way we live individually and together. Black Corporeal (Between This Air) engages with both the physical and metaphysical aspects of breathing and asks if we can reposition ourself through the extrinsic, the creation of black structures and realities that allow us to breathe, freely. Director: Julianknxx Producer: Claire Pearson Executive Producer: Debo Amon Executive Producer: Patrick Bedeau Director of Photography: Pablo Rojo Art Director: Harris Elliott Editor: Harry Deadman Cast: Sophia Brown Amron Adams Dancers: FUBUNATION Choral Leader: Celestina Diamond Chorus: Philippa Brobbey Cathryn Jackson Lawrence Rowe Red Farrell Annette Bowen Stephen Deborah Frimpong Interviewees: Ellah P. Wakatama Jason Jules Production: STUDIOKNXX Original Score: James William Blades Cello: Jonthan Gibson Violin: Oliver Mayo Crew: First Assistant Director: Amron Adams Stylist: Fahrad Noir Stylist Assistant:Reis Dendle Art Department: Phil Welch Sam Jellyman Focus Pullers Ewan Sadler Tamia Diaz 2nd Assistant Camera: Nick Milligan Camera Trainee: Rita Monteiro Gaffer: Leo Olesker Sparks: George Wright Yeh Love Sound Recordist: Francesco Corazzi Hair & Make up: Natasha Livesey Hair & Make up Assistant: Shani Mushington BTS: Aiden Harmitt-Williams Runners: Eden Tekle Joseph Gathercole Smith Post-Production VFX: Dan Fenton Colourist: Jonny Tully (Tag Creative Arts) Special Thanks Kazvare Knox Barbican Procam Take 2 The Vintage Showroom Flat 5 Commissioned by WeTransfer Commissioners: Holly Fraser Danielle Boelling
Apex Zero - This Riddim (On Ancestors)

Apex Zero - This Riddim (On Ancestors)

'This Riddim (On Ancestors)' is one section of Apex Zero's multi-layered visual album ‘Drummer Warrior Storyteller’. The project aspires to encapsulate Nigerian author Chinua Achebe’s perception of storytelling; while the Drummer calls and gathers the people and the Warrior fights the war, the Storyteller recounts the events, creating history, embodying memory for those who survived. The album incorporates music, film, dance, photography, painting, metal work, costume design and immersive listening/viewing experiences that engage audiences through multiple mediums in the form of an installation exhibition and live theatre performance. Drummer Warrior Storyteller (Part One) is produced in collaboration with Steph Be, Theo 'Godson' Oloyade, Alethia Antonia, FUBUNATION, 3000CeanHill, Chiba Visuals, Informotion Worldwide, Village 101, GlobalFaction, Breakin' Convention, Charlita 'Lita-Styles' Hall, Ekua McMorris, Dora Lam, Anna Beel, Ukombozii Ancestral Drums, Micall Parknsun, Al Lawson, In:Theory, Crazy Haze, Mazzi & S.O.U.L. Purpose, Nilotika Cultural Ensemble and is supported by Arts Council England. For more info go to Listen to the 'Drummer Warrior Storyteller (Part One) EP here: Spotify: Apple Music: Bandcamp:


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