Performing Black Bodies in White Spaces:Films  and talk to explore how African Descendants across the Diaspora use dance to celebrate their African heritage

Saturday 13 October 6pm to 9pm

Peckham Plex Cinema, Rye Lane, SE15. British Rail  Peckham Rye

Admission: Free but must book

or phone 020 7525 3415

A screening of films ‘Temporary Sanity: The Skerrit Boy Story’ that features Jamaican dance culture in New York. Followed by ‘Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ile Aiye’, about Brazilian women resisting European beauty standards with dance. The talk will be delivered by Dr Nathalie Montlouis and guests who will explore the perception of African/Caribbean traditional and modern dance and their portrayal in the mainstream media; followed by discussion and performances by Caribbean dance group Zil'Oka .

Delivered in association with Images of Black Women  Film Festival and Black History Walks.Part of Southwark Council's Black History Month 2012 programme.

Skerrit Boy:

A documentary produced by Dan Bruun in 2006 as part of his Visual Anthropology Masters at, University of Manchester. The film explores the cultures, gendered performances and political expressions that form part of Jamaican Dance Hall in New York.  By following 'Skerrit Bwoy' a Bronx based performer and promoter of Dance Hall music, the film gives an insider's view into the dancing, history and social roles of Dance Hall clubs in the lives of the Jamaican and Caribbean Diaspora in the United States

Ebony Goddess

This documentary follows three women competing to be the carnival queen of Ilê Aiyê, a prominent and controversial Afro-Brazilian group with an all-black membership. The selection is based on Afro-centric notions of beauty, in counterpoint to prevailing standards of beauty in Brazil, a country famous for slim supermodels and plastic surgery. Contestants for the title of Ebony Goddess dress in flowing African-style garments,   gracefully performing traditional Afro-Brazilian dances to songs praising the beauty of black women

Q and A with

Dr. Lez Henry is a Social Anthropologist who lectured in the Department Of Sociology, Goldsmiths College. He is also is a writer, public speaker and community activist. The author  of a number of books on race, culture, history, music and politics Shantelle George is a PhD Student in History of Africa and its Diaspora at SOAS.Her work is based on the. experiences and cultural legacies of the West and Central African  immigrants forcibly sent to Grenada and St. Lucia in the mid-nineteenth century.  

Nathalie Montlouis shares her doctoral research on African-Caribbean dances and their potential positive effects on the self esteem of people of African descent. She will demonstrate how mainstream medias are doing a symbolic violence to women and men of African decent and how this violence can be counteracted through dance and music. From short music videos, discussion  on issues around  “the Dancehall queen”, “the righteous woman”, what is “dirty dancing”; to live traditional Caribbean dance demonstration by Zil’Oka  with an  examination of similarities to African dances and culture by choreographer Madee Ngo,  this event will aims to prove how important it is to create and celebrate one's own standards.


Madee Ngo performer, choreographer and teacher, based in London. A native Congolese who grew up in France and graduated with a degree in choreographic art  and show critic expertise. Madee has a huge understanding of the dances from the African diaspora as well as the issues linked to practicing these dances, the representation and the cultural aspects into each style. Founder the African dance workout Active Afro Training.