an ode to home

She Mami Wata & The Pxssywitch Hunt's promotional image, which is an illustration of a person's face with blue and orange colouring.
Mother of Moons by Danilo McCallum.

Intermission is hosting creative and critical responses to select shows from Soulpepper’s Around the World in 80 Plays as a part of the Taking on the World mentorship program for emerging IBPOC artists and arts writersTaking on the World is a partnership between Intermission, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Brock University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Windsor, with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Instructions for watching: this video is intended to be watched on your phone in portrait mode. To enter portrait mode, go into your phone settings and make sure that ‘rotation’ is enabled. Then pull up the article on your phone, play the video, and rotate your phone horizontally until the text is facing the right direction to read. You made need to hold your phone a certain way as you watch, so the view doesn’t rotate back.

Content note: This piece explores the following themes and content: trauma, graphic and sexual content, sexual assault, nudity, strong language, mental illness, alcohol use, and dysphoria. There will be some flashing graphics and layering sound. Captioning provided.

Artist’s note: This is the seed of an idea that I am lucky to have been guided to through She Mami Wata and the Pxssywitch Hunt by d’bi. young anitafrika with sound design by Mohammad Rowe. In She Mami Wata, particularly through the character of Niki, anitafrika explores the liberated body as a source of divinity and site of resistance that allows Niki to transcend imposed, oppressive narratives of colonialism and homophobia and embrace her power.  

It is a strange thing being an emerging artist while trying to navigate your passageway of storytelling. Although not my usual medium (digital), I leaned into truth which inspired me to pursue uncharted waters for growth and for healing. I am slowly coming to ground myself in the communities where I feel seen, reclaiming what has always rightfully been mine; only to become my most fruitful self. 

The clips in this video were filmed on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum.

A sincere thank you to the Taking on The World Mentorship for this opportunity as well as Signy Lynch, my mentor, Paul Smith, my collaborator, Soulpepper Theatre, Intermission Magazine, and SSHRC-CRSH. 

Watch “an ode to home” here.

Around the World in 80 Plays runs until June 30 on Soulpepper’s website. For tickets and more information, click here.

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Written By

Elena Reyes is a queer Latinx performance and theatre artist, hailing from the University of Windsor BFA Acting program. Selected credits: Alicia, Thank You For Your Labour (University Players with Outside The March, 2020), Lone, Reloj No Marque Las Horas (Lacuna Theatre with Tall Tale Theatre, 2020), Tiresias, The Bacchae (House + Body, 2019), Medium Alison, Fun Home(Calithumpian Theatre, 2017). As an emerging artist, Elena is working toward integrating themselves into theatre and art communities that are creating spaces for marginalized experiences to collaborate, explore, question, and critique openly. They are so grateful to be a part of Taking on the World, and look forward to engaging with other IBPOC artists along the way.