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Surge Afrofuturism: Multimedia Dance Performance with Oysterknife: Gabriele Christian and Chibueze Crouch

Join us for a multimedia dance performance with queer Black choreographic duo OYSTERKNIFE (Chibueze Crouch + Gabriele Christian).

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Event Series Event Series: Surge: Explorations in Afrofuturism

May 28, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Two people with roses between their lips.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged, but not required for entry.
Parking is available in the Arts Lot #126Purchase a permit or use ParkMobile

OYSTERKNIFE will perform the final work in their triptych, m | ou | f.  The performative work aims to reclaim Black iconicity from the maw of consumer celebrity culture. Having explored the legacies of shame, violence and faith for blaQ communities in their prior projects mouth full of sea and mouth//full, their latest collaboration is a meditation on hypervisibility, opacity, sexuality, and the desire of & for queer(ed) Black stars. Using drag, ritual masquerade, original music, video and choreography, OYSTERKNIFE opens a portal to an era of voices which carved a route for their queer Afro-now and beyond. 

This event is part of Surge: Explorations in Afrofuturism, a multidimensional and transcultural month-long festival on Afrofuturism spearheaded by composer/performer Karlton Hester, choreographer Gerald Casel, and artist Aaron Samuel Mulenga. Afrofuturism is a global artistic and social movement, intent on imagining a world where African-descended peoples and cultures can live and flourish. For Surge, an extended program of music and dance performances, film screenings, and discussions will bring together artists and thinkers to creatively engage Afrofuturist strategies for liberation and the restructuring of society free of racism.

Surge is made possible by generous support from the Nion McEvoy Family Trust, the National Endowment from the Arts, UCHRI, UCSC Academic Senate, Rowland and Pat Rebele, Porter College, and annual donors to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences.

About the speakers


OYSTERKNIFE—derived from a line from Zora Neale Hurston’s essay “How It Feels to Be A Colored Me” —was born out of a longtime creative friendship between Chibueze Crouch and Gabriele Christian. Drawing from our shared desire to subvert our theatrical upbringings that often neglected our complex Black + Queer (BlaQ) experiences, we’ve forged an interdisciplinary artistic approach that reinserts our narratives into American and Afro-Diasporic cultural movements. 

Chibueze Crouch

Chibueze Crouch is a Nigerian-American interdisciplinary artist & curator based on Huichin, Chochenyo-speaking Ohlone territory (Oakland, CA). She works across ritual theater, text, song, movement and video to create participatory, experimental, intimate performances in collaboration with her chi and communities. Chibueze’s work explores themes of ancestral longing, Igbo cosmology, Afro-Diasporic masquerade and queer identity. 

Gabriele Christian

Gabriele Christian, born in Harlem (Wappinger Lenape land) and based in Oakland (Chochenyo Ohlone land) is a conceptual artist and descendent of stolen folks experimenting with somatic practices, language, performance composition, and community arts facilitation to locate and center BlaQ (Black and Queer) experience, vernaculars, and aesthetics as wellsprings for radical futurity. 

Costume Designer: Pamela Rodríguez-Montero
Associate Costume Designer: Ella Schultz

Please familiarize yourself in advance with the full COVID-19 protocols required for admission


May 28, 2022
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
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407 McHenry Rd
Santa Cruz, California 95064
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