Reflection: Nora Chipaumire

The Black, African, Female Body
from TEDxCalArts: Performance, Body & Presence

The body, the black body, the African body, the female African black body. It’s relationship with the rest of the world has led me to so many absurdities, so many conundrums, so many contradictions.

Nora Chipaumire is a performance artist, writer, activist, and educator. In “The Black, African, Female Body, she meditates on herself, her identities, her work as a performer in light of history, experience, resistance, and art. 

“Doing, making, experiencing with my body is a mode of inquiry. It is practical, it is theoretical, it is experimental, it is critical, it is dangerous.


About the Artist

Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe and based in NYC, Nora Chipaumire has been challenging and embracing stereotypes of Africa, the black performing body, art and aesthetics since she started making dances in 1998.

Chipaumire is currently touring #PUNK 100%POP *N!GGA (verbalized as hashtag punk, one hundred percent pop, star nigga), a three-part live performance album which had its full world premiere at The Kitchen in NYC in October 2018.

Her current and ongoing work includes a digital book project – nhaka – a theory, technology, practice and process to her artistic work. Her upcoming work will be an opera entitled “The Queen v. Nehanda” (2021).

Chipaumire is a 2018 Guggenheim fellow and a four-time Bessie Award winner.

About TEDxCalArts

TEDxCalArts was curated by Shannon Scrofano, Leslie Tamaribuchi, and Chi-wang Yang, with the assistance of students across CalArts.

TEDxCalArts and the CalArts Center for New Performance is a participant in the A-ha! Program: Think It, Do It, funded by the MetLife Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.

TEDxCalArts was created with TEDʼs mission statement in mind: Ideas Worth Spreading. The nonprofit TEDx program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently on a community-by-community basis.