The writer, choreographer, and performer Okwui Okpokwasili contributes to, choreographs, and performs in works which interrogate the stability of time, perception, subjectivity, and historical narrative. Okpokwasili employs the somatic as a tool of resistance and as a vector for the recall of knowledge systems forgotten, unknown, or willfully ignored.
For Sitting on a Man’s Head (2018), Okpokwasili collaborated with her partner Peter Born and a number of Berlin-based artists to produce a work that adopts the tactics of a form of protest traditionally practiced by women in eastern Nigeria, metaphorically called “sitting on a man’s head.” Through a collective invasion of seats of power, it was a strategy used to speak back, air grievances, and effect change. Okpokwasili and her collaborators present an unfolding score that can be activated by all who enter the proffered space. Both score and embodied space work in the service of resistance and self-preservation, so we can “come together, find each other, and call out.”
—Nomaduma Rosa Masilela