Homegrown Festival – Occupy at Battersea Arts Centre: Four Women and She’s a Good Boy
Part of the Homegrown Festival: Occupy, Four Women – presented by notable British-Nigerian poet and vocalist Dylema – is a soulful performance piece about the experiences of immigrant women. With her band The Dylema Collective she creates a thought-provoking, uplifting and transcendent show. Combining soul, jazz, funk, afro-beat, R&B and poetry, spoken with a gentle rap rhythm, the show is poignantly uplifting and captivating.
Dylema means “Do You Let Every Man Adapt”, a lyrical expression of the artist’s confronting of patriarchy, sexism and racism. Her focus is the black woman – Black Girl Magic – her power and beauty in a world that discriminates against her. In Four Women we hear the stories of four individuals who embody this spirit, giving us a glimpse into the hearts and souls of migrant women through spoken word, galvanising music and stirring poetry.
A remarkable, unique and inspiring mind and creative performer, Dylema (her real name is Dianah) has been called “one of the most prolific poets of her time”. She stands out as an exceptional artist and groundbreaker with important messages for our era, demonstrating a capacity to break barriers with her perceptive genius and mesmerising talent.
Elise Heaven’s She’s a Good Boy is a funny, touching, quirky, smart and innovative one-person show about gender, or rather the rejection of gender. Using music, props, costumes, monologue and mime the artist whimsically explores society’s attitudes to sexual identity via their own experience as a non-binary – who identifies as neither specifically female or male.
Pointing out the foolishness of categories and assumptions based on perceived gender – as well as assigning thoughts and feelings to others formed by such erroneous presuppositions – Heaven argues that instead of just deciding who someone is without knowing them, we should simply ask them. That such logic is not prevalently implemented points to the culture’s tendency to employ lazy thinking via the application of easy labels.
She’s a Good Boy is cutting-edge and significant at a time when the concept of gender and transgender rights are at the fore, and the notion of sexual identity is in question. Yet it also presents a timeless, simple and obvious issue: truth is discovered through investigation not supposition.
Image: She’s a Good Boy by Elise Heaven
Homegrown Festival – Occupy is at Battersea Arts Centre from 18th March until 12th April 2019. For further information or to book visit the event’s website here.