The will to change

Dance, directing

Grand Popo, Benin.


In 2022 Heidi spent three months in Villa Karo Finnish-Beninise cultural centre and artist residency creating a performance and workshops for DANCO – School for De-colonizing the Art of Dance. The new creation is addressing queer theory and structures of power and masculinity through crosscultural collaboration of Finnish, Beninine and Nigerian artists. The aim is to open embodied dialogue, develop a body based theory within Afro-Nordic context and to facilitate performance making.

The starting point was in questions such like how can Nigerian queer performance theories and Finnish masculinity discourse feed each others realisation? The plan was to develop the work by comparing models that address gender and sexuality in both African and Nordic context. The working group was investigating the narrative of “gender and sexual colonialism” that deny the historical existence of queerness on the African continent, as highlighted in the installation TRACES OF ECSTACY of Emmanuel Ndefo (CCA Lagos 2/2022), and look at the deeply patriarchal monument-tradition of Europe in the light of installation project FIRST MONUMENT (Working Group Nummiluikki-Seppälä-Pyhälä-Valve, Helsinki 2023).

As a result, with her colleagues and local dance artists Heidi created a dance video The Will to Change. Final video is still in editing, but here one can see a freshly made teaser.

“By bringing together Finnish, Beninise and Nigerian artists to work on similar yet different global challenges through performing arts, we hope to feed into Afro-Nordic spaces of solidarity and compassion and create more diversified research ground for developing performance, art and text.” (DANCO – School for De-Colonizing the Art of Dance)

Photo for work-page: under the title the will to change



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