While You Sleep (excerpt from a Jouvay dream)
This performance created for the stage, is adapted from a portion of my original short story titled, While You Sleep. The story was inspired by a statement from Barbadian poet, Kamau Brathwaite who spoke of the need for a ritual to keep the souls of the millions of enslaved Africans who perished in the waters during the transatlantic journey from coming back to haunt us.
The story takes place during Carnival season somewhere in the Caribbean. The main character, Ele, a young poet, has surreal nightmares every year during this season. Though each dream is full of symbols and meaning that are somewhat recognizable, Ele seeks insight on the meanings of the dreams from elders in the community. The closer it gets to J’ouvert (Jouvay), the spirt of the ancestors in the dreams become less troubled. -Nyugen E. Smith
Performance at 18:30 followed by Q&A with Nyugen E. Smith
Nyugen E. Smith is a first generation Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Jersey City, NJ. Responding to the legacy of European colonial rule in the African diaspora, his work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence, and intergenerational trauma. He Is interested in ritual and sacred practice rooted in African spiritual systems and how they are employed as coping mechanisms and tools for collective empowerment.
read more here: https://www.nyugensmith.com
Nyugen E. Smith is in Norway as part of the Global Art Project’s «The Sea is History»
read more here: https://www.theglobalartproject.no/projects/patterns-of-migration-in-contemporary-art/