Afro Hemispheric Performance: Actions, Socially Public Participations, Rituals, and Ceremonies
Afro Hemispheric Performance
Experimental Pedagogy and Curatorial Online Digital Workshop
Facilitator: Dr. Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet
Center for Afrofuturist Studies

August 7, 11, 14, and 21 from 4 to 6 pm EST @Zoom Platform


The world is experiencing insurgent revisions of the modern colonial histories of oppressions (racial, gender, erotic and sexuality, class, age, ableism, language, ethnicity) upon the Indigenous, African, and Latinx bodies.

The Center for Afrofuturist Studies is organizing Afro Hemispheric Performance: Actions, Socially Public Participations, Rituals, and Ceremonies, an experimental pedagogy and curatorial online digital workshop facilitated by interdisciplinary artist, curator and scholar Dr. Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet.

The project emerges from the curatorial organization of 26 actions, socially public participations, rituals, and ceremonies produced by African descendants performance artists and collectives born and/or having ancestral connections to Abya Yala/Turtle Island.

Their performances becomes the framework for an experimental pedagogical performance practice where selected participants will engage in the study of their lives and works, contemporary Afro performances practices, critical issues, as well as a series of exercises aiming to advance their conceptual, technical and creative performance abilities. The selected participants are expected to produce a 1-3 min performance to be presented (OPTIONAL) at a later date.

The selected participants will have the opportunity to look critically at the performances, events, and actions produced by these artists as a way to stablish subjective, historical, and communal continuities promoting possible further developments of Afro Hemispheric Performance practices.

The experimental pedagogy and curatorial online digital workshop will take place during the month of August at the Center for Afrofuturist Studies’ website and at the Zoom digital online platform on August 7, 11, 14, and 21 from 4 to 6 pm EST.

The digital online workshop is composed of four sessions:
1) Performing Cimarron Decolonial Narratives;
2) Corporal Sensing: Tracing Memories and Marks of the Flesh;
3) Re-Writing the Archive: Ancestral Subjectivity, Ancestral, and Communal Memories;
4) Public and Socially Engaged Ceremonies.

Each 2 hour session is divided into seven specific tasks:
1- An introduction by Raul Moarquech (20 min.),
2- Team presentation of artists, performances, readings (15 min.),
3- A conversation with invited artists (15 min.)
4- A communal discussion with invited artists (15 min.)
5- Individual presentation / 3 participants each session (10 min)
6- Performance exercises (35 min.)
7- Closing remarks (10 min.)


Papo Colo (Puerto Rico/USA) + Camille Turner (Jamaica/Canada) + Vaginal Davis (USA/Germany) + Cauleen Smith (USA) + Carlos Martiel (Cuba/USA) + Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (Puerto Rico/USA) + Javier Cardona (Puerto Rico) + Mendi and Keith Obadike (USA) + Charo Oquet (Dominican Republic/USA) + Ana Magdalena Campos-Pon (Cuba/USA)+ Katie Numi (Belize) + Manuel Mendive (Cuba) + Lawrence Graham-Brown (Jamaica/USA) + Teresa Diaz Nerio (Dominican Republic/ The Netherland) + Coco Fusco (USA/Cuba) + Polibio Díaz (Dominican Republic) + Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark/Trinidad and Tobago) + Humberto Velez (Panama/England) + Nyugen Smith (Haiti/USA) + Maritea Daehlin (Norway/Mexico) + Marton Robinson (Costa Rica) + E. Patrick Johnson (USA) + Brother(hood) Dance! (Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine) + Derrick Adams (USA) + Liliana Angulo Cortes (Colombia) + Lyle Ashton Harris and Thomas Allen Harris (USA).


Day 1. August 7.  Performing Cimarron Decolonial Narratives

  • Afro Hemispheric, Afro Diaspora, Black Atlantic
  • Afro Diaspora traditions in Performance Art,
  • Critical theories of Afro Hemispheric performance studies
  • Afro Temporalities, Memory, Communities, and Actions.
  • Body, Healing and Endurance

Artist/Works examined (6):
Papo Colo (Puerto Rico/USA)
Camille Turner (Jamaica/Canada)
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (Puerto Rico/USA)
Liliana Angulo Cortes (Colombia)
Carlos Martiel (Cuba/USA)
Katie Numi (Belize)

Confirmed Invited Artists:
Katie Numi (Belize)
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (Puerto Rico/USA)

Required Readings:
Abiodun Balogun, Oladele. The Concepts of Ori and Human Destiny in Traditional Yoruba Thought: A Soft- Deterministic Interpretation, Nordic Journal of African Studies, 16(1): 116–130 (2007).

Brock, Lisa. Nation and the Cold War: Reflections on the Circuitous Routes of African Diaspora Studies, Radical History Review, Issue 103 (Winter 2009).

Torres, Julie. Exodus/Pilgrimage, 2019. A Performance. Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 4, 2020. Pp. 994-996.

Gugolati, Maica. “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, so I Got Me Some”: Katie Numi Usher on the Fluid Mosaic, Allegra Lab, 2019.

Suggested Readings:
40 Years of Puerto Rican Artist Papo Colo’s Work at MoMA PS1, New York, Puerto Rico Artnews, 2016.

Turner, Camille. Miss Canadiana Confronts the Mythologies of Nationhood and the im/possibility of African Diasporic Memory in Toronto, Caribbean in Transit Journal, Volume 1. Issue 2. March 2012. Pp. 52- 60.

Giraldo Escobar, Sol Astrid. Retratos en Blanco y Afro. Liliana Angulo, Colección Artistas Colombianos Ministerio de Cultura, República de Colombia, 2014.

Valencia, Marelys. Carlos Martiel and the Transnational Politics of the Black Body, PARSE Journal, Issue 10, Spring 2020.

Day 2. August 11.  Corporal Sensing: Tracing Memories and Marks of the Flesh


  • The body as a container of Ancestral Memories
  • Insurgent Erotic Subjectivities
  • Inter-ethnicities and Malungue
  • Poetics of Relations
  • Location; Installation; Costume; Objects; Mis-en-scene

Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark/Trinidad and Tobago),
Maritea Daehlin (Norway/Mexico)
Teresa Diaz Nerio (Dominican Republic/ The Netherland)
Derrick Adams (USA)
Polibio Díaz (Dominican Republic)
Charo Oquet (Dominican Republic/USA)
Lyle Haris and Thomas Harris (USA)

Confirmed Invited Artists:
Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark/Trinidad and Tobago),
Maritea Daehlin (/Norway/Mexico)

Required Readings:
Glissant, Edouard. Poetics of Relation, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997. Pp. 5-35.

Lorde, Audre. Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, Sister Outsider, The Crossing Press, Freedom, CA 95019. Pp. 53-59.

Martinez-Ruiz, Barbaro. Kongo Atlantic Body Language, Les actes de colloques du musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac [On lines], 2 | 2009.

Thompson, Robert Farris. An Aesthetic of the Cool, African Arts, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Autumn, 1973).

Lockward, Alanna. Decolonizing the (White) Gaze: Who is Whipping?, Spiritual Revolutions & “The Scramble For Africa, BE.BOP 2014.BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS, Edited by Alanna Lockward + Jeannette Ehlers, Berlin + Copenhagen, 2014. Pp. 9-10.

Clifford, Owens. Notes on the Crisis of Black American Performance Art (2003), in Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, catalog, Valerie Cassel Oliver, editor, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas, 2013.

Suggested Readings:
Oyewumi, Oyeronke. Conceptualizing Gender: The Eurocentric Foundations Of Feminist Concepts and the Challenge of African Epistemologies.

Alexander, M. Jacqui. Groundings on Rasanblaj with M. Jacqui Alexander, caribbean rasanblaj, emisférica, Volume 12, Issue 1and 2, 2015.

Lepoutre Ravn, Aukje. FLICKERING IMAGES: Manipulation and the search for identity in Jeannette Ehlers’ work, ATLANTIC, Forlaget Århus Kunstbygning, 2009. pp. 35-47.

Day 3. August 14.  Re-Writing the Archive: Ancestral Subjective  and Communal Memories

  • Anti-Decolonial Fanon
  • Transnational experiences
  • Reclaiming the Afro women imaginaries
  • The South, North of the Cairibbean
  • Sound; Lighting; Media;

Artist/Works :
Marton Robinson (Costa Rica)
Javier Cardona (Puerto Rico)
Cauleen Smith (USA)
E. Patrick Johnson (USA)
Coco Fusco (USA/Cuba)
Vaginal Davis (USA/Germany)
Lawrence Graham-Brown (Jamaica/USA)

Confirmed Invited Artists:
Marton Robinson (Costa Rica)
Javier Cardona (Puerto Rico)

Required Readings:
Arellano Vences, Javier. Marton Robinson: Rectifying History Through The Assertion of Black Labor, Vincent Price Art Museum, 2017.

Oke, Moses. Precepts for Tenure Ethics in Yoruba Egungun (Masquerade) Proverbs, The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.1, no.9, August 2007. Pp. 85-102.

Tavia, Nyong’o. Racial Kitsch and Black Performance, The Yale Journal of Criticism, volume 15, number 2 (2002): 371–391.

La Fountain-Stokes, Lawrence. Translocas: Migration, Homosexuality, and Transvestism in Recent Puerto Rican Performance, emisférica, Performance ≠ Life, Volume 8, Issue 1.

Suggested Readings:
Muñoz, José Esteban. “The White to Be Angry”: Vaginal Davis’s Terrorist Drag, Queer Transexions of Race, Nation, and Gender, Social Text, No. 52/53, (Autumn – Winter, 1997), pp. 80-103.

Alondra Nelson. Introduction  FUTURE TEXTS. We will make our own future Text. Social Text 71, Vol. 20, No. 2, Summer 2002.

Fanon Frantz. The Fact of Blackness, in Black Skin, White Masks, London, England: Pluto Press,1986. by Pp. 109-140.

Day 4.  August 21. Public and Socially Engaged Ceremonies

  • Storytelling and Oral Traditions
  • Ritual Masquerades and the Spiritual Ancestxrs
  • Socially Engaged Art
  • Ciberperformance
  • Final Performance Presentations


  • Manuel Mendive (Cuba)
  • Mendi and Keith Obadike (USA)
  • Nyugen Smith (Haiti/USA)
  • Humberto Velez (Panama/England)
  • Ana Magdalena Campos-Pon (Cuba/USA)
  • Brother(hood) Dance! (Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine)

Confirmed Invited Artists:
Brother(hood) Dance! (Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine).
Humberto Velez (Panama/England),

Requiered Readings:
Trouillot, Michael-Rolph. The Power of the Story, Silencing the Past, Boston, MA: Beacon Press, Pp. 1-30.

Porter II, Juan Michael. What Happens When Black Gay Men With HIV Love and Dance in the Name of Brotherhood, The Body, 2019.

Matheson, Elizabeth and Chhangur, Emelie. The Beautiful Game: Art and Sport In The Work of Humberto Vélez, C105 Spring 2010. Pp. 31-37.

Backer, Yona. Performance Trace: Staged Actions, Live Art, and Performance Made for the Camera, in Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, catalog, Valerie Cassel Oliver, editor, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas, 2013.

Suggested Readings:
Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. Get There: Four Electric Ghosts, The Feminist Wire, February 29, 2012.

Huff, Jason. Artist Profile: Mendi + Keith Obadike, Rizhome, 09/29/2011.

Erkan, Ekin. “The Interaction of Coloreds” (2002, 2018) and Racialized Online Identity,, 2018.

Strongman, Roberto. Transcorporeality in Vodou, The Journal of Haitian Studies, Vol. 14 No. 2, 2008. Pp. 4-27.

Additional Suggested Bibliography

Bettelheim, Judith. Women in Masquerade and Performance, African Arts, Vol. 31, No. 2, Women’s Masquerades in Africa and the Diaspora (Spring, 1998), pp. 68-70+93-94.

Branche, Jerome C. Malungaje: Toward a Poetics of Diaspora, in The Poetics and Politics of Diaspora: Transatlantic Musings, Routledge, New York City, 2015. Pp. 1-19.

de la Fuente Alejandro. Afro-Latin American Art, The Librarian-Seeley Historical Library,

Fox, Jason and Mask, Mia. Introduction, World Records, Volume III: Documenting Blackness at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Volume 3 \ Article 1.

Francis, Jacqueline. Figuring Blackness in Modern and Contemporary African Diaspora Visual Cultures, Radical History Review, Issue 103 (Winter 2009).

Hall, Stuart. Introduction: Who Needs ‘Identity’?, Questions of Cultural Identity, Sage: Thousand Oaks. 2011 Pp. 1-17.

Johnson E. Patrick. Strange Fruit: A Performance about Identity Politics, TDR/The Drama Review, Summer, 2003, Vol. 47, No. 2. pp. 88-116.

Martínez Tabares, Vivian. Caribbean Bodies, Migrations, and Spaces of Resistance, TDR/The Drama Review, Volume 48, Issue 2, Summer 2004. Pp.24-32.

Punday, Daniel. The Black Arts Movement and the Genealogy of Multimedia, New Literary History, Vol. 37, No. 4, Attending to Media (Autumn, 2006), pp. 777-794.

Raiford, Leigh. Photography and the Practices of Critical Black Memory, History and Theory, Vol. 48, No. 4, Theme Issue 48: Photography and Historical Interpretation (2009), pp. 118-129.

Rowell, Charles H. Derrick Adams, Callaloo, Vol. 38, Number 4, Art 2015, pp. 797-800.

Smith, Cauleen, and Tancons Claire. In conversation about The Supernova Procession, Issue Project Room, 2012.

Wynter, Sylvia. “No Humans Involved: An Open Letter to My Colleagues,” Forum N:H:I Knowledge for the 21st Century, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall 1994. Pp. 42- 51.


Javier Cardona Otero / Taxonomía of a Spicy Espécimen

Papo Colo / La Diferencia (1976-1986)

Cholita! Chinga Tu Madre / Vaginal Davis

Carlos Martiel / Romper La Noche

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz / Exodus|Pilgrimage (Exodo|Peregrinaje)

Mendi + Keith Obadike / Four Electric Ghosts

Manuel Mendive / Los colores de la vida, 2015

Lawrence Graham-Brown / Rites of Passage/Sacred Spaces


Teresa Maria Diaz Nerio / Freedom is a Constant Struggle 2013


Coco Fusco / Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture by Dr. Zira, Animal Psychologist (2013)

Jeannette Ehlers / Whip It Good.

Marton Robinson / Organegreros


Maritea Dæhlin / I Want To Be Traditional


Brother(hood) Dance! / How to Survive a Plague


Derrick Adams / The Entertainer

Humberto Velez / La Banda de mi Hogar