Artist Explores Transatlantic Slave Triangle In Award-winning Play SALT. At Toronto Centre For The Arts
Selina Thompson's multi-award winning exploration of grief, ancestry and the transatlantic slave triangle, salt., will play the Studio Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts, February 7 - 10, 2019. Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 28, 10AM.
In February 2016, two artists got on a cargo ship, and retraced one of the routes of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle - from Bristol, UK to Ghana in western Africa to Jamaica, before returning home with the stories, reflections and experiences to make a show based on their memories of the journey.
salt. is a solo show about the existence of colonial history in the everyday, the politics of grief and what happens inside Selina Thompson's head every time someone asks "where are you from?" and won't take Birmingham or her mum's uterus as an answer.
Describing her two- month journey - 42 days at sea in total -- as "like being inside a migraine," Thompson approached the research journey like an explorer, noting down every detail in their logbook. She would write pages and pages every day, marking every little interaction and conversation, the words washing in and out like a tide. Selina travelled with filmmaker Hayley Reid who documented the journey.
Traders set out from European ports towards Africa's west coast. There they bought people in exchange for goods and loaded them into the ships. The voyage across the Atlantic, known as the Middle Passage, generally took 6 to 8 weeks. Once in the Americas those Africans who had survived the journey were off-loaded for sale and put to work as slaves. The ships then returned to Europe with goods such as sugar, coffee, tobacco, rice and later cotton, which had been produced by slave labour.
For more on salt., visit http://www.sonycentre.ca/calendar-event-details/?id=436
Selina Thompson is a Neurodiverse artist performer based in Leeds, UK whose formal diagnosis includes general anxiety disorder and Bipolar II disorder, both of which can lead to depression and the experience of panic attacks and hallucinations. Her practice is playful, participatory and intimate; focusing on the politics of identity and how this defines our bodies, lives and environments. With an emphasis on public engagement and a desire to connect to those who are often marginalized, she has made work for pubs, cafes, hairdressers, toilets, and sometimes even galleries and theatres.