Shawanda Corbett presented Blackbird in Mississippi, a performance in which the protagonist, haar wese, time travels to Mississippi where music offers her a voice in her quest to find placement in displacement.
Artist Shawanda Corbett presented Blackbird in Mississippi, a performance from the perspective of a black woman with a disability, in which the artist draws parallels between a slave’s voyages on the underground railroad to the artist’s own journey for rehabilitation.
Blackbird in Mississippi
Written and Directed by Shawanda Corbett
Performed by Shawanda Corbett
Choreography by Albert Corbett
Violinist Andrea Fortier
Performed with House Gospel Choir
Vocal Arrangement & Choral Direction by Harrison Atlee
Choir: Anton Denny, Cartell Green Brown, Leon Jacques, Leanna Leid, Zaza Lewis-Wright, Monique Meade, Siziwe Sayiya, Aeo Smith and Antoinette Thelwell
Shawanda Corbett’s interdisciplinary practice addresses the question of what is a complete body, looking at the different cycles of a human’s life through cyborg theory. She uses her perspective as a woman of colour with a disability to root theory into reality. Corbett’s performances are developed around the architecture of a particular space. Collaborating with choreographer, Albert Corbett, she responds to the performance space through a live inner dialogue. Corbett’s performances incorporate her ceramics practice, where the human body, architecture and dance leave their traces on her pottery vessels and surfaces. Corbett is pursuing a doctoral degree in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art and Wadham College, University of Oxford.
Andrea Fortier is a musician and sonic artist. Classically trained in viola performance, she studied under Toby Appel and the late Michael Tree at the Juilliard School, on full scholarship thanks to the generosity of the Greene Fellowship. After graduating with her Bachelors in 2018, Andrea received her Masters in Fine Art from the Ruskin School of Art in 2019, with distinction.
House Gospel Choir is the place where spirituality and the euphoria of the dancefloor come together. Founded by Creative Producer and vocalist Natalie Maddix, HGC is a home for anyone who has ever found themselves lost in music at a festival, or in a nightclub, or on the tube on the way to work.