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Performance by Oxana Chi & Layla Zami

A piece in memory of the Ghanian-German poet, activist and scholar May Ayim. Conceived by Oxana Chi, the piece features dance, poetry, theater and live-music to celebrate and commemorate Ayim’s achievements at the intersection of feminist and antiracist struggles.  Chi’s movements enter in dialogue with Zami’s sounds, and her interpretation of May Ayim's poetry in an English translation. A timely meditation on the power of words to transform society, past and present. 


The piece was originally developed by Oxana Chi as a commissioned work for Humboldt-University and toured internationally at events and venues including: Black German Heritage & Research Association - University of Toronto (Keynote Performance), Bielefeld University, City University of New York, TU Berlin, Rutgers University, Delhi International Queer Theater and Film Festival, Dixon Place, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, In*Vision Festival Brandenburg, La Maison D'Art New York.


Concept, Choreography, Dance: Oxana Chi
Music and Poetry Performance: Layla Zami (saxophone, kalimba, sounds)
Text written by: May Ayim
Translated into English by: Marion Kraft

01.06.2023 - 6pm

 Place: Theatermuseum, Studiobühne, Jägerhofstr. 1


Dr. Layla Zami is an interdisciplinary academic and artist. She is Postdoctoral Researcher in Performance Studies at Freie Universität Berlin (SFB 1512 / Institut für Theaterwissenschaft) and Adj. Associate Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute. Zami is the author of Contemporary PerforMemory (2020), and her work orbits around the nexus of cultural memory, performance, diaspora, language, and spacetime. She obtained her PhD at Humboldt-University, where she also earned a Teaching Award, and was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. As an Interdisciplinary Resident Artist with Oxana Chi Dance & Art, Zami creates and performs music, sounds, spoken words and theater. Born in Paris in 1985, she is rooted in a Jewish-German-Caribbean heritage.

More information here.


Oxana Chi is a Nigerian-German dancer, choreographer, curator, writer, filmmaker, and educator. Her repertoire comprises 20 productions, with two commissioned works for Humboldt-University and one commissioned work for the Jewish Contemporary Arts Festival (Dagesh/LBI 2021). Her international tour history includes Volksbühne Berlin, HAU, Societätstheater Dresden, 1014 NY as well as several universities and festivals. Honors and awards include: Ambassador of Peace (DOSHIMA 2016), Abrons Arts Center AIRspace Grant (NYC 2017-2018) and being listed in The Dance Enthusiast’s A to Z of People Who Power the Dance World (NYC 2018). She initiated programs such as the Moving Memory Symposium Festival (TU Berlin) and the TANZnews series (Werkstatt der Kulturen). She was a Curator for the International Human Rights Art Festival and a guest faculty in the Dance Department at New York University (2022).

More information here.

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