Crossing The Line Festival 2021

Arts and Entertainment

September 15, 2021

From: Crossing The Line Festival

FIAF’s acclaimed annual arts festival, Crossing The Line, returns for an exciting 14th edition. This year’s program spotlights Africa’s cultural renaissance, and features works created by interdisciplinary artists coming out of the continent and diaspora.

Curators Courtney Geraghty and Claude Grunitzky have brought together a lineup of compelling artists to perform at venues throughout New York City—intriguing experiences that will spark new conversations about the global Black experience.


Wednesday, October 20–Saturday, November 6, 2021:

Okwui Okpokwasili And Peter Born Before the whisper becomes the word

Working across medium and disciplines, Igbo-American artist Okwui Okpokwasili, in collaboration with Peter Born, has conceived a room-sized video installation, which will be presented for the first time during the Crossing The Line Festival.

Using their own footage, the artists investigate the themes of remembrance, community mourning, and history: “This installation is a crossroads, a midpoint, a caesura. A place caught between worlds. Can we remember what came before while imagining the shape of a future landscape? We enter mid-song, a song that marks a singular moment in time while also expressing an entire lineage. The song is a container for an unreliable memory. From whose mouth is history born? Whose words are trusted when it comes to the telling of what happened? If the history we learn is that which is spoken aloud, what is learned by listening to the whispers that have not been written?”

Exhibition Opening

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 6pm

Followed by Artist Talk at 7pm

On View

Wednesday, October 20–Saturday, November 6, 2021


Mon–Fri: 8:30am–7pm

Sat: 8:30am–5pm

Admission: Free

Location: FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th Street, 1st Floor, New York, NY 10022

Nora Chipaumire - Nehanda

Online Broadcast

Wednesday, October 20–Saturday, November 6, 2021

In-Person Broadcast

Saturday, October 30, 2021


Followed by Artist Talk at 5pm

FIAF Tinker Auditorium

Contemporary artist and frequent Bessie Award winner nora chipaumire challenges—and embraces—stereotypes of Africa, Black performance and aesthetics, and contemporary dance through her innovative work.

Created during the pandemic, her audio work Nehanda is based on a legend of a spirit venerated by the Shona people, native of Zimbabwe and central Mozambique. chipaumire brings together instruments and musicians from around the world to evoke the story of atrocities against indigenous communities in British-occupied Southern Rhodesia.

The audio work will be available to enjoy online from Wednesday, October 20–Saturday, November 6 with individual scenes released daily at midnight.

To dive into the full piece in a special audio environment and attend a talk with artist nora chipaumire, join us in person on Saturday, October 30 in FIAF’s Tinker Auditorium.

Nehanda Cycle

3 hours 52 minutes

Day 1 - natives

Day 2 - whites

Day 3 - pungwe

Day 4 - thinkers

Day 5 - komuredhi judhas nemajekenisheni

Day 6 - white verdict

Day 7 - killings

Day 0 - manifesting


Online Broadcast Cycle 1, Oct 20–28:

Individual scenes released at midnight as follows: Wed, Oct 20 – Day 1 | Thu, Oct 21 – Day 2 | Fri, Oct 22 – Day 3 | Sat, Oct 23 – Day 4 | Sun, Oct 24 – Day 5 | Mon, Oct 25 – Day 6 | Tue, Oct 26 – Day 7 | Wed, Oct 27 – Day 0

Full audio work available on Thu, Oct 28

Online Broadcast Cycle 2, Oct 29–Nov 6:

Individual scenes released at midnight as follows: Fri, Oct 29 – Day 1 | Sat, Oct 30 – Day 2 | Sun, Oct 31 – Day 3 | Mon, Nov 1 – Day 4 | Tue, Nov 2 – Day 5 | Wed, Nov 3 – Day 6 | Thu, Nov 4 – Day 7 | Fri, Nov 5 – Day 0

Full audio work available on Sat, Nov 6

In-Person Broadcast And Artist Talk on Sat, Oct 30

11am – Broadcast of Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

1-hour break (lunch boxes available for purchase)

1:30pm – Broadcast of Day 4, Day 5, Day 6

30-minute break

3pm – Broadcast of Day 7, Day 0

30-minute break

5pm – Talk with artist nora chipaumire

About Nora Chipaumire:

Nora Chipaumire was born in 1965 in what was then known as Umtali, Rhodesia (now Mutare, Zimbabwe). She is a product of colonial education for Black native Africans—known as Group B schooling—and has pursued other studies at the University of Zimbabwe (law) and at Mills College in Oakland, CA (dance).

Ticket Information:

In-Person Broadcast And Talk

FIAF Members: $20

Non-Members: $25

Click Here Buy In-Person Broadcast Ticket

Online Broadcast

FIAF Members: $10

Non-Members: $15

Click Here Buy Online Broadcast Ticket

Performance: Okwui Okpokwasili And Peter Born On the way, undone

Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 7:30pm

Friday, October 22, 2021 at 7:30pm

Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 7:30pm

In On the way, undone, Igbo-Nigerian American artist, and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and director Peter Born have designed an in-situ work that blends genres and media.

Mayfield Brooks, Anaïs Maviel, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Samita Sinha manifest a polyphonic chorus wearing sculptural headdresses that recall traditional West African hairstyles, exploring a sonic entanglement that summons the past to envision the future.

The performance will take place outdoors at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn. It will be moved indoors in the event of inclement weather.

60 minutes

Ticket Information:

FIAF Members: $20

Non-Members: $25

Click Here For Tickets

Location: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213

Concert - Somi

Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 7:30pm

FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Known for her wide-ranging vocal technique and her original blend of modern jazz with African music styles, Grammy-nominated singer Somi uses her songwriting to give voices to issues of social justice, transnationalism, womanhood, and global constructions of Blackness.

For her debut at FIAF, she will present a selection of her most iconic songs from her albums Lagos Musique, Petite Afrique, and The Holy Room. This exceptional concert will also feature a sneak preview of her upcoming album The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba, in an homage to this icon of African music.

80 minutes

Ticket Information:

FIAF Members: $20

Non-Members: $25

Click Here For Tickets

Location: FIAF Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022

Performance: Christopher Myers Fire in the Head

Friday, October 29, 2021 at 7:30pm

Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 7:30pm

A world premiere staged in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Fire in the Head salutes the tortured genius of Vaslav Nijinsky, who, like many artists today, grappled with the confluence between global and personal crises.

In concert with performers David Thomson, Martell Ruffin, and Sifiso Mabena, Christopher Myers will bring to life the famous diaries of this pathbreaking dancer and choreographer through original shadow puppets he designed and made in collaboration with master craftsmen in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

65 minutes

Ticket Information:

FIAF Members: $20

Non-Members: $25

Click Here For Tickets

Location: Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, 62 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013

Performance: Kaneza Schaal KLII

Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 7:30pm

Friday, November 5, 2021 at 7:30pm

Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 5 And 7:30pm

Kaneza Schaal exorcises the ghost of King Leopold II through a mytho-biographical performance.

Building off Mark Twain’s King Leopold’s Soliloquy published in 1905, a fictional monologue written after Twain’s visit to Congo Free State, and Patrice Lumumba’s 1960 independence speech in Congo, KLII considers the residue of colonialism in our everyday lives. The performance draws on archival footage from Belgian filmmaker André Cauvin’s documentary Bwana Kitoko, mixing colonial aesthetics with traditional East African design to create a heightened visual persona. The open rehearsal offers audiences a unique chance to watch an interdisciplinary project take creative shape.

40 minutes

A 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, Schaal has received the Herb Alpert Award in theater, a Sundance Institute Interdisciplinary Program Grant, a 2019 United States Artists Fellowship, a Soros Art Migration and Public Space Fellowship, a Joyce Award, an LMCC Alumni Award, the 2018 Ford Foundation Art for Justice Bearing Witness Award, a 2017 MAP Fund Award, a 2016 Creative Capital Award, and an Aetna New Voices fellowship at Hartford Stage.

Her projects include Go Forth, premiered at Performance Space 122 and then shown at the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; the Cairo International Contemporary Theater Festival, Egypt; and at her alma mater, Wesleyan University. Her work Jack And was performed as part of BAM’s 2018 Next Wave Festival and at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, as well as at its co-commissioning institutions the Walker Art Center, REDCAT, On the Boards, the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Her piece Cartography premiered at the Kennedy Center and toured to The New Victory Theater, Abu Dhabi Arts Center, and Playhouse Square, OH. Created with FLEXN, her dance work Maze premiered at The Shed. She directed Triptych, composed by Bryce Dessner with a libretto by Korde Arrington Tuttle, which premiered at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Power Center in Ann Arbor, MI, BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House, and the Holland Festival. In summer 2021, Schaal directed a new staging of Blue for Michigan Opera Theater at The Aretha Franklin Amphitheater in Detroit. Last spring she taught a course at Harvard University on theater and social practice and this year she will serve as the Denzel Washington Endowed Chair of Theatre at Fordham University.”

Ticket Information:

FIAF Members: $20

Non-Members: $25

Click Here For Tickets

Location: FIAF Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022

Date: October 20-November 6,2021

Click Here For More Info