Jaamil Olawale Kosoko


Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

"What does it mean to defend the dead? To tend to the Black dead and dying: to tend to the Black person, to Black people, always living in the push toward our death?” – Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being

Setting the fugitive experience afforded Black people on fire with majesty, opulence, and agency, Séancers is an nonlinear examination of how the American racialized body uses psychic, spiritual, and theoretical strategies to shapeshift through socio-politically charged fields of loss and oppression. Jaamil Olawale Kosoko’s Séancers collapses lyrical poetry, psychic movement forms and strategies of discursive performance to investigate concepts of grief, resurrection and paranormal activity. Interrogating issues related to American history and coloniality, Séancers an auto-ethnographic journey into the surreal and fantastical states of the Black imagination to traverse the “fatal” axis of abstraction, illegibility and gender complexity.

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, originally from Detroit, MI, is a Bessie Award nominated Nigerian-American curator, poet, and performance artist. He is a 2017 Princeton Arts Fellow, a 2017 Jerome Artists in Residence at Abrons Arts Center, a 2017 APAP Leadership Fellow, and a 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Fellow. He is a 2016 Gibney Dance boo-koo resident artist and a recipient of a 2017 and 2016 USArtists International Award from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. His work has been presented throughout Europe and the United States.


Creation, Concept, and Installation Design Jaamil Olawale Kosoko Dramaturg Emily Reilly Séancers Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, with Special Guest (TBA) Video Installation Performers Imma Asher and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko Sound Design, Engineering, Technical Support, Performance Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste Performance Doulas Imma Asher, M. Lamar, Jennifer Kidwell Poetry & Text ‘Power’ by Audre Lorde, ‘Heelz On’  and ‘Entertainer’ by Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Ruby Sales’s monologue from ‘Where Does It Hurt’, On Being with Krista Tippett Mylar Backdrop Construction Devin N. Morris Associate Costume Design and Fabrication Simone Duff Wardrobe, Make-up & Costume Support SaVonne Whitfield, M.A. Lighting Design Serena Wong with Megan Lang Lighting Supervisors Megan Lang, Amanda Jensen and Kate McGee Video Installation Editor and Director Andrew Amorim Projects Manager Kimya Imani Jackson Grants Specialist Ling Elizabeth Yang Research Assistant and Assistant Stage Manager Alyssa Gersony

Séancers was created with commission support from Abrons Arts Center and Danspace Project with additional funding support from MAP Fund, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Princeton Arts Fellowship, the Jerome Foundation, and independent donors and friends of Jaamil Olawale Kosoko Residency support for Séancers was provided by Abrons Art Center, Bennington College, Casa Na Ilha Art Residence in Brazil, FringeArts, pOnderosa Movement and Discovery, and Haverford College.


March 21, 20h (70mins)

Straight after the performance we kindly invite all participants to our NO FEAR IN ASKING Artists Talk. We establish a brave space to share vivid emotions. No question is stupid, no answer is dumb. We meet to understand.
Talks are moderated by Katarzyna Szustow.

@ Tanzhaus Zürich
Wasserwerkstrasse 129, 8037 Zürich


Photos: Andrew Amorim, Imma Asher, Ian Douglas