'My name is D’bi Young Anitafrika and I am a performance artist who lives at the intersections of poetry, theatre, arts-education and scholarship. As a Black, queer, diasporic African Jamaican, middle class, able-bodied, cis-gendered womxn-mother of two Black boys, my socio-cultural-political lens is feminist, intersectional, de-colonialist, anti-oppressive, and pan-Africanist.
My creative and intellectual endeavors embody these multiple locations. I experience myself as a whole being with human contradictions, juxtapositions and cognitive dissonances. The questions who am I? how am I? and what is my purpose? are central to my artistic process. I do not separate the art I create from the personal and societal contexts in which it exists. In fact my intention is to create art that disrupts, interrogates and disturbs my own, and society’s accepted norms of inequality, as these oppressions impact our perceptions of race, class, gender, sexuality and ability.
The Anitafrika Method, which I have been developing for the past two decades through my work as an artist and educator, is an autoethnographic praxis for human development informed by decolonial queer Black feminisms, intersectionality, pan-Africanisms and diasporic African spiritualities. Theatre of Ritual-Self-Recovery is the name I give to the Black Performance art I create and facilitate through The Anitafrika Method.
What is Theatre of Ritual-Self-Recovery? It is the performative act of ritually recovery one’s self; reclaiming, regaining, renaming, and restoring. It is making ritual theatre of one’s self-recovery; ritual-Black-self-recovery; ritual-feminist-self-recovery; ritual-queer-self-recovery. And what am I recovering from? I am recovering from the ongoing assault on our collective humanity that insists that I/we can in fact live without our lives.'
-D'bi Young Anitafrika - Excerpt of Keynote Address at The Canadian Writers Summit 2018
For the past decade I have been diligently crafting a framework, a praxis, a method, a new approach to artistic training & human development that is grounded in integrity, intersectionality, feminism, love & the awareness of the complexities of oppression & how we proliferate it, called The Anitafrika Method. Hundreds of artists & people globally, have co-created the growth of the Anitafrika Method by participating in my National & International Artist Residencies through ongoing workshops at the Anitafrika Dub Theatre, Yemoya International Artist Residency, The Watah School & Theatre and Anitafrika Retreat Centre. The world has been my lab. The feedback I have received from these artists & change-makers is that the method works as not only a tool for social change but also as a new Integrity-based, decolonialist praxis for artistic training & development. As I reflect on the choices I made over a decade ago to preserve my own artistic integrity & to embark on a sacred journey of finding myself which resulted in finding the Anitafrika Method, I thank the ancestors for their ever-present guidance.
Now I have a deep calling to further develop this sacred work through postgraduate studies. I am currently engaged in a Masters in Performance Making at Goldsmiths, University of London. There is an ongoing fundraiser on the Go Fund Me platform to help pay the tuition and living expenses while I study. I am here because I want to further understand how to contextualize the Anitafrika Method in a global theatres environment. I want to innerstand the theory of my practice through the intersectional anti-oppression frameworks that I am using. I want to dig deeper into exploring the relationship between intergenerational trauma and the Black body and I want to expand on healing practices for the traumatized Black body using the Anitafrika Method (the intended focus of my PhD in Theatre). Studying Performance Making through a critical intersectional, anti-oppression, decolonialist lens is what I am seeking, in order to expand on my work, and I welcome your support. I hope that as we find our way through the fog of the present moment, we will embrace new systems of artistic training & development that rupture old systems of oppression. Please Contribute to my campaign. And If You Dare To, Please Share Too. spread the word. - d'bi.young anitafrika
Current & Upcoming Interests
an autobiography by D’bi Young Anitafrika