Rochelle Jamila

Once We Were Free
Pronouns: she / her
Artistic Discipline: Dance
Category: Creative Equations Fund: Cultural Heritage & DiversitySocial Innovation Fellow
Grant Year: 2024
Location: Crown Heights

Once We Were Free is dance project for dreaming up a liberating Black matriarchal future. Rooted in womb/women’s wisdom and innovation of southern African American traditions, this process brings together 7 women performers who identify as activists, artists, and teachers. Through the choreographic process we will research and innovate freedom traditions of the Black south including the blues, gospel, the ring-shout, herbalism, midwifery, and conjure/ hoodoo. Over the course of 10 months, we will imagine liberation through dance, song, storytelling, and healing modalities, particularly those relevant for birthing and bleeding people. This rehearsal process will culminate in a public performance in Prospect Park in which we dance a ritual for conjuring liberation.