Contact, Live Art UK and Black Gold Arts are delighted to announce the selection of artists Xana and Mele Brooms, for our 2019 Diverse Actions commissions.
The commissions are a Live Art UK and Contact initiative to champion culturally diverse ambition and excellence in live art and performance.

Swallowing Your Idols has been created and performed by live loop artist, Xana. It’s a show about memory and black childhood, exploring the themes of returning, reconnecting, and journeying towards forgiveness, in order to thrive.

Told through synths, hacked toys, looping, and poetry, Swallowing Your Idols brings the child, the teenager and the adult together in an apology owed to your past self,  and to hold yourself to account for who you have become and who you want to be.

Wrapped Up In This Skin is the working title of a new solo work from Mele Brooms that combines, dance, experiential vocals and lyrical poetry.

Mele aims to create a live performative gig accompanied by a bespoke soundtrack, using technology to create a costume that constantly changes throughout the performance. The costume is symbolic of a character who has worked for nearly a century supporting the daily activities of the human species. Now they speak through a journey of malfunctioning as their form begin to decompose.

Xana

Xana is a live loop musician, sound artist, theatre maker, poet and an Offie nominated sound designer who has worked on a number of critically acclaimed theatre shows and performed in cities around the world.

Xana’s work focuses on exploring archival material and using technology to embody future stories and memories. Xana creates interactive spaces and new visions of blackness within reality and science fiction.

Xana is featured on the award-winning track Afronaut on the Mercury prize shortlisted album of the year Driftglass by Seed Ensemble led by Cassie Kinoshi.
Xana is an Associate Artist at Ovalhouse Theatre, and will present an early version of the Swallowing Your Idols as part of First Bites. Xana is co-organiser of Afrotech Fest and publishes the comic, Afronaut Squad.

Xana

Mele Broomes

Mele Broomes is an award-winning choreographer and performer (Total Theatre Awards, Best Dance at Edinburgh Fringe 2018 for work VOID)

Mele is also co-director of Project X Dance – an organisation which champions the dances of the African Caribbean Diaspora in Scotland.

Mele’s work embodies stories from the collective voice, creating sensory collaborations through her ancestral inheritance.

Mele, image credit Ademaoyowa Joseph

More information about the Diverse Actions chosen Commissions will be out soon, so keep your eyes peeled as it’s going to be exciting!

Last year’s Diverse Actions commission

Nima Séne was chosen as the 2018 Diverse Actions commission last year.

We selected Nima for the DA Commission for her socially relevant, exciting and risk-taking practice and Nima has gone from strength to strength since then.

Read last years announcement here.