“Sisters of the Yam” is inspired by the eponymous book by bell hooks in which she presents a plethora of strategies that Black women can use for self-actualization, self-healing and political resistance. She maintains that, “True resistance begins with people confronting pain... and wanting to do something to change it.”
(bell hooks, Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics )
In the context of their own Black heritage, the artists have grappled with the topics of spirituality, identity and autobiographical exchange and have asked themselves:
What methods of healing do We know about from our own culture? How can We overcome the effects of collective trauma? How can We intervene politically in society? Ore Arts’ goal is to reshape cultural institutions so that they can also be spaces for self-actualization and healing for Sisters of the Yam. To this end, Ore Arts aims to reconfigure the stage so that it will also be a place that is open to Sisters of the Yam.
In this way, a path to de-colonise knowledge can be established that will open spaces for diverse voices in Mannheim.
Artists Betelihem Fisshaye, Diana Kreissle, Janaína de Oliveira, Sandra Oliveira, Asmaa Sbou, Julia Schroth, Lukas Schroth Film/ image projection Janaína de Oliveira, Lukas Schroth Mentor Allan Falieri (www.allanfalieri.com)
Ore Arts is an artist collective comprised of members who are all of African descent and live in the Rhine-Neckar region. The collective fights for the visibility of Black people in the arts and cultural scene. Ore Arts offers artists the freedom and the space for the diversity that white spaces do not afford as they are often laden with prefabricated narratives and clichés about Black people. This internal dialogue does not generate pain, but rather pride in one’s own culture, diversity, expression and heritage. The collective emerged when Sonya Lindfors brought together four BIPoC as non-professional dancers for her piece “Soft-Variations” which she created for the Theaterfestival Schwindelfrei 2018. The collective working under the name Umoja! collaborated with Sonya Lindfors once more to create the piece “Decolonial Dreaming” for the Theaterfestival Schwindelfrei 2020. At the beginning of 2021, the group changed their name to Ore Arts with new members joining them to create the short film “Skin Politics.”
Titlephoto © Ore Arts
Photos gallery © Lys Y. Seng