Photo by Nile Harris

jaamil olawale kosoko

jaamil olawale kosoko is a multi-spirited Nigerian American author, performance artist, and curator of Yoruba and Natchez descent originally from Detroit, MI. jaamil’s practice is conceptual and process based, fluidly moving within the creative realms of live art performance, video, sculpture, and poetry. Through ritual and spiritual practice, embodied poetics, Black critical studies, and queer theories of the body, kosoko conjures and modes of freedom, healing, and care when/where/however possible.

jaamil is the recipient of awards including the 2022 Slamdance Jury Prize for Best Experimental Short film, 2021/22 MacDowell Fellowship, 2020 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, 2020 NCCAkron Creative Administrative Fellowship, 2019 NPN Creation & Development Fund award, 2019 Red Bull Arts Fellowship, 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Choreography, 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellowship, 2018 NEFA National Dance Project Award, 2018-20 New York Live Arts Live Feed Residency, 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Fellowship, and consecutive 2016-2020 USArtists International Awards from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Blending poetry and memoir, conversation and performance theory, their book Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts, was released Spring 2022. Black Body Amnesia: LIVE, the performance reading, is a live theatrical event that examines the shapeshifting, illegible, and fugitive realities of Black diasporan people negotiating the psychic lifeworlds of living inside the American context. It is performed with an alternating ensemble of performers including jaamil olawale kosoko, Raymond Pinto, mayfield brooks, DJ Maij, and features original sound compositions by Everett-Asis Saunders. In this new work, kosoko uses complexity theory—which they define as the study of adaptive survivalist strategies inside complex networks or environments—as a performance device. Exploring how minoritarianized communities record and affirm their existence through collaborative actions and protests, the artist traces how these communities then archive personal freedom narratives to subvert culturally charged fields of systemic oppression, loss, and erasure.

Past Classes & Events

Movement Research at the Judson Church (January 23, 2023)

January 23, 2023
performance

[In-Person] Moving Between Worlds

Jul 11 – Jul 15, 2022
melt

(Postponed) Movement Research at the Judson Church

January 17, 2022
performance

MELT – Creating Your Biomythography: An Interdisciplinary Performance Lab

Jan 8 – Jan 10, 2020
melt

Movement Research at the Judson Church

January 06, 2020
performance

MELT – The Transgressive Body

January 18, 2019
melt

MELT – The Transgressive Body

January 13, 2019
melt

MELT – The Transgressive Body

January 13, 2019
melt

MELT – The Transgressive Body

Jan 7 – Jan 10, 2019
melt

MELT—Deconstructing Perceptions

Jan 10 – Jan 14, 2018
melt

Diversity and Accountability: A conversation with the MR Artists of Color Council

November 02, 2016
event