Project O

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Project O is a collaboration between London-based artists Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small. Project O make dances to dance themselves out of the desire for, and expectation of, an aesthetic assimilation that upholds a system of white supremacy that is at once subtle, blatant and all pervasive. Project O is the performative fruit of conversations between the duo, who look to the body as a site of politics, considering the tangible yet often ignored impact of a colonial history in the UK today, and the tendency towards fetishisation, exoticisation and fear of the other. The work intends to expose some of the structural workings of racism and misogyny and their impact on bodies, sparking debate and pushing for conversations about how to live with agency - and a sense of a future - among these painful and uncomfortable histories.

Tearing at the edges of contemporary dance since 2010, Project O have made dances for the stage (O), performative interventions in public spaces (Be Your Black Girlfriend), choreographies for bodies that are not their own (SWAGGA), a performance lecture (Benz Punany), a school (The New Empowering School) and a publication (A Contemporary Struggle). Alongside their production Voodoo, presented in the Lilian Baylis Studio in Spring 2017, they are currently working on a series of site-responsive short works, Native Instincts: Psychic Labours.

Project O are residents at Somerset House Studios, London, Associate Artists at Dance Research Studios and were awarded the Artsadmin Artist Bursary in 2014. Project O have presented work at the Southbank Centre, Somerset House, British Dance Edition, British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2015, Chisenhale Dance Space, The Yard and Chelsea Theatre, among others.