Le Negrophilie by Zakiya Markland
directed by Tatiana Pandiani
Frank Collymore Hall. Bridgetown, Barbados. August / Agosto 2018
Ubumuntu Arts Festival. Kigali, Rwanda. July / Julio 2018
Kampala International Theatre Festival (KITF) Kampala, Uganda November / Noviembre 2017
Teatro SEA, NYC . November / Noviembre 2016 & February / Febrero 2017

In a very racialized 1910s America, young Josephine Baker is both lauded and taunted for the brown hues of her skin. Internalized racism displayed by blacks around her (people of her own race) had young Josephine on the outskirts of stardom on Black Broadway, despite being incredibly talented. Never light enough to pass the quintessential “paperbag” test (a test used by African Americans at this time to test the lightness of one's skin/how much white or mixed-blood one possessed), she left the United States and found stardom in the land-of-the free Paris, France, where racism was...well, different than in the States. There she became an instant success: a symbol of French liberation from Western austerity; an icon of female liberation; France's “Black Venus.” In La Negrophilie audiences are invited to bear witness to a change in her view of self that is as thrilling as it is chilling. What happens to the soul when fetishization, and eroticization of the body is the price you pay for fame...for freedom?

La Negrophilie
Written and Performed by Zakiya Markland
Directed by Tatiana Pandiani
Design & Technical: Mariana Vallejo

Photography: George Riveron (NYC),  Phillip Masembe (Kampala) & Kevin Phillips (Barbados)