The Queer Darlings edition of the discussion series is dedicated to current strategies of staging and queering race through the works blackmilk:trompoppies by tiran and JEZEBEL by Cherish Menzo. Like gender, race is a social construct beyond biological realities and can be seen as a performative phenomenon: both identities are far from stable, materialize through repetitive acts, and require the "other" for demarcation. Yet the category of race is less fluid, and the appropriation of new identities is regularly conceptualized primarily from the perspective of white dominant culture. How can this power imbalance be reversed? And what role does race play in the market-effective stereotyping of masculinity and femininity?
Cherish Menzo graduated in 2013 from The Urban Contemporary program (JMD) of the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam. She danced in productions by choreographers such as Eszter Salamon, Akram Khan, Leo Lerus, Hanzel Nezza, Benjamin Kahn, Olivier Dubois, Ula Sickle, Lisbeth Gruwez, Jan Martens, and Nicole Beutler. Besides performing in other people's productions, she has been creating her own work for about five years. JEZEBEL won an Amsterdam Fringe Award and an International Bursary Award (2019). JEZEBEL was also nominated for the BNG Bank Theaterprijs and the Nederlandse Dansdagenprijs in 2020 and was part of the selection of Het TheaterFestival (in both Belgium - selection NieuwJong - and in The Netherlands). Cherish Menzo is currently in the research phase for a new performance called DARKMATTER (premiere May 2022), a duet together with Camilo Meija Cortes.
TIRAN is an artist, born in South-Africa, situated between Zürich and Berlin. His performance based practise explores the body inside an unimaginable environment. Using physical depth to create sonic images that deal with the construction of systems, creating experiences that communicate somatic and psychological landscapes beyond the human condition. He has worked and collaborated with Eszter Salamon, Jerome bel, Trajal Harrell, Meg Stuart, Ligia Lewis, Andros Zins-Browne, Dorota Gaweda & Eglé Kulbokaite, Price (Mattias Ringgenberg) and with Cullberg ballet under Deborah Hay and Jeftha Van Dinther.
Joana Tischkau is a choreographer and performer. Her choreographic practice intertwines the discursive fields of racism, feminism, popular culture and Black German identity and negotiates them away from didactic approaches, but appropriately and accessibly in their complexity. The final project of her Master's degree at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, PLAYBLACK, was invited to Tanzplattform Deutschland and the Impulse Festival Showcase NRW, among others. Her follow-up work BEING PINK AIN'T EASY won an award at Sophiensælen in 2019 and was also invited to Tanzplattform 2022. In 2019/20 she was a performer in Anta Helena Recke's Die Kränkungen der Menschheit, which was invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen in 2020. In winter 21/22 she developed her first own city theatre production KARNEVAL at Stadttheater Oberhausen. In 2021 she received, among other things, the inaugural Otilie Röderstein Scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Art in Hesse.