nora chipaumire//crossing the line


there is no way to encapsulate the raw honesty, beauty and wonder of nora chipaumire. i attended her performance at the french institute last weekend of crossing the line—a somewhat reenactment of saartjie baartman’s horror, semi-nude in a display case for public consumption. she did not want us to sit, but to stand and move, interact, observe her dancing, writhing, flipping us off.
i walked for a bit and then sat as close to the glass as possible, trying to breathe her air. how i wanted to possess the energy that is nora, the power, the fury, the love and vulnerability. ‘i am trying to write a manifesto of my black body,’ she said, in stereo sound echoing throughout the room, kissing her reflection in the glass, rubbing her breasts and arms and legs up against it.
somehow it made me love my body, myself, all the more. —AL.

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