Protect and Survive

This mixed-media performance, inspired by Audre Lorde, explores who we are and why and how we could be. We are taken on a journey by a queen, or is she a goddess? A whore? A high priestess? She is all of these and more. She feels our spirits and reveals to us her manifold identities.

We will build a shelter to protect ourselves, but what are we protecting ourselves from? What are we afraid of? Where is the real danger? If we have learned from Audre Lorde that ‘The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house’ then what tools might we find to build our shelter? Some say, to survive we need to keep our friends close and our enemies closer. And sometimes to protect ourselves we present our alter-egos to the world, creating a force field around us, wearing invisible armour. What happens when we drop our shield?

Using ritual, poetry and personal narration, three emerging artists from the UK in collaboration with Gob Squad explore the political potential of the multitude of identities and the emotional promise of getting to know ourselves by introducing us to others: ‘I will be deliberate, afraid of nothing. Trust me… Believe in me… I won’t let you fall… Don’t let me fall.’ Maybe, what we need is not a fortified shelter, we need to uncover in order to recover.

Zealtotale X GOB SQUAD is a collaboration between emerging artists Zealtotale from Leicester UK and internationally renowned artist collective Gob Squad. Zealtotale use performance as a tool for empowerment and self expression. Often working in the digital realm, their work is forward facing, imagining futures through a black cultural lens. They are powerful and dangerous and making it up as they go along. Gob Squad has been developing methodologies of collective practice over the past three decades. X GOB SQUAD is an attempt to share this experience by focusing on mutually enriching, outwardly facing collaborations.