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In residency with us this week is Afidi Nomo who performs as Radikal Queen, the North East’s premier Black spoken word artist. She is an award-winning artist with a global background of community-based, multimedia collaborative work within festivals, schools, carnivals and touring productions.

As an Indigenous person whose Elders gave her an ambassadorial brief, Radikal Queen’s work centres upon developing sustained global, cultural links with Indigenous and Marginalised communities. She uses words that dance to original Black music in order to communicate with people from diverse cultures. As a cultural activist, she connects communities all over the world via her ethos: bringing the margins to the centre. To this end, she has co-founded two Black-led and revolutionary performance troupes after training at Tricycle Youth Theatre, and recently co-founded a Newcastle music collective.

She has worked with independent filmmakers in the Northeast, created a commissioned filmpoem called “Love Poem” with Apple & Snakes, and spent a semester delivering drama workshops at Crisis Homeless Centre, whilst being mentored by Alan Lyddiard.

She has taught at the Heart of the Beast Theater in Minneapolis, and has consolidated her craft with studies at Newcastle and Gateshead colleges.

She has recently started incorporating digital platforms in her work, and hopes to work with ARC to fine-tune the details of this aspect.

She aims to spend her residency at ARC finalising JazzWitch, which will be a live show incorporating song and spoken word on the subject of Taboo, and what that means to Black, Marginalised Genders, and Queer folk. She’ll be working with original music and poetry, as well as referencing some of the pioneers from  Jazz and Blues, genres she has specifically chosen because they have been historically vilified, ostracised… and then colonised. She wants to speak on her behalf, on behalf of those who can relate to her, and on behalf of the Black Ancestors who originated and established music that STILL crosses social, cultural, and  spiritual boundaries.

JazzWitch will be launched at the HerStory Festival in Newcastle on March 23, 2022.

Radikal Queen’s latest tracks are available on Spotify, iTunes, and most streaming platforms.

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