In this interview, artistic director and choreographer Thomas Prestø speaks with cultural studies scholar Dr. Gladys M. Francis about his personal journey as a hyper visible Black boy growing up in a Norwegian region known as a hub for neo-Nazi groups. Subjected to various forms of torture, Prestø discusses how his experiences shaped his politics of arts when he founded the Tabanka Dance Company to promote "a sustainable Black identity" that converges both Ca ribbean and African movement esthetics to tell the stories of Blacks in Norway. Prestø presents how his body of work informs Black diaspora studies in terms of art and culture through issues of minority identities, body-memory, body-politics, and political and cultural agency relating to Black performances and cultures in Norway. He discusses principles on "Caribfuturism" and corporealities within what he calls "the uniqueness of the Afropean, the Afro-Scandinavian and the poly-Diasporan." His insights on the prejudiced mechanisms of representation and segmen tation of cultures visible in Norway also convey how his artistic productions offer challenging esthetics and representations of gender and sexuality for performing Brown and Black artists. The following segments were gathered during his 2018 dance fellowship in Dakar, Senegal, my scholar appointment in Norway in 2019, and follow up discussions in spring 2021.


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pp. 279-296
Launched on MUSE
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