Leaves from Family Tree
by Mojisola Adebayo
August 13 + 14, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
ZK/U BerlinSiemensstr. 27, 10551, Berlin, Germany
In 1951 Henrietta Lacks, an African American tobacco farmer descended from enslaved people, had cells taken without her knowledge for medical research. Seventy years later, even after her death, they are still multiplying and continue to be used in laboratories all over the world. This new performance by Mojisola Adebayo, developed for the outdoors space with the ZK/U Berlin and directed by Matthew Xia, explores this incredible story. Henrietta Lacks's life, body and legacy have affected millions of us, yet most have never heard her name. The performance seeks to draw a map on which her name is placed.
An accompanying workshop with Mojisola Adebayo and Nicole Wolf at ZK/U will engage with questions of climate justice, environmental racism and migration. The trans-Atlantic slavery is a story of mass forced migration and its Diasporic afterlives continue that migration story. The slave trade was environmental, slavery was agricultural and the legacies can be seen in climate injustice today.
Mojisola Adebayo is a Black British Berlin-based theatre artist who has worked on theatre and performance projects internationally from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. She is a playwright, performer, director, producer, workshop facilitator and lecturer. Over the past 25 years she has performed in over 50 productions, writing, devising and directing over 30 plays. Her own plays include Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey, Muhammad Ali and Me, and I Stand Corrected. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she is currently on a research fellowship exploring theatre, literature, environmental racism and climate justice at University of Potsdam, just outside Berlin.
Produced by Natasha Davis for Counterpoints Arts in connection to a project commissioned by Actors Touring Company (ATC) and the Young Vic.