DPhil success at Serpentine Galleries

DPhil student, Shawanda Corbett, presented Blackbird in Mississippi, a performance in which the protagonist, haar wese, time travels to Mississippi where music offers her a voice in her quest to find placement in displacement.

DPhil student Shawanda Corbett presented Blackbird in Mississippi, a performance from the perspective of a black woman with a disability, in which the artist draws parallels between a slave’s voyages on the underground railroad to the artist’s own journey for rehabilitation.

Blackbird in Mississippi

Written and Directed by Shawanda Corbett

Performed by Shawanda Corbett

Choreography by Albert Corbett

Violinist Andrea Fortier

Performed with House Gospel Choir
Vocal Arrangement & Choral Direction by Harrison Atlee
Choir: Anton Denny, Cartell Green Brown, Leon Jacques, Leanna Leid, Zaza Lewis-Wright,  Monique Meade, Siziwe Sayiya, Aeo Smith and Antoinette Thelwell

Shawanda Corbett’s interdisciplinary practice addresses the question of what is a complete body, looking at the different cycles of a human’s life through cyborg theory. She uses her perspective as a woman of colour with a disability to root theory into reality. Corbett’s performances are developed around the architecture of a particular space. Collaborating with choreographer, Albert Corbett, she responds to the performance space through a live inner dialogue. Corbett’s performances incorporate her ceramics practice, where the human body, architecture and dance leave their traces on her pottery vessels and surfaces.