jaamil olawale kosoko is a multi-spirited Nigerian American author, performance artist, and curator of Yoruba and Natchez descent originally from Detroit, MI.
They are a 2022 MacDowell Fellow and a regular lecturer at Princeton University and Stockholm University of the Arts. Their book Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts was released earlier this spring.
Blending poetry and memoir, conversation and performance theory, Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts, enlivens a personal archive of visual and verbal offerings. Inspired by Audre Lorde’s concept of biomythography, kosoko mixes personal history, biography, and mythology to tell a complex narrative rooted in a queer, Black, self-defined, and feminist imagination. This collection of intertextual performance acts captures the ephemeral data often lost or edited out of kosoko’s live performances. Developed alongside their ongoing, multi-media live art project, American Chameleon, and elaborating on the artist’s unique practice of Socio-Choreological Mapping as a means to explore queer theories of the body and its “hydraulics of grief,” this book offers critical-creative frames to consider the fluid identities and lifeworlds embedded inside contemporary Black America.
On July 7th, they will be included in the New York City Museum of Arts and Design’s exhibition, Garmenting: Costume as Contemporary Art, featuring artists who engage critically with fashion and costume. To accompany their film Chameleon: A Visual Album, kosoko will perform an excerpt from Black Body Amnesia. This will be followed by an additional performance at BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance on July 9th. These appearances will be part of their larger spring/summer tour which includes stops at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Guggenheim, and the Institute for Contemporary Art. The full itinerary can be found here.
This July, kosoko will also host a quirky conversation based Instagram Live series titled “Syllabus for Black Love” featuring artists and entrepreneurs from around the globe. Further information will be available soon. In the meantime, for more information on jaamil olawale kosoko and their work click here.