Earlier this year Rose Bruford College announced a new MA programme in Queer Performance, the first of its kind worldwide. The College is delighted to have welcomed its first cohort of students this autumn, and today announces two incredible Associate Artists who’ll work with students on the course during the year ahead.
The Queer Performance Associate Artists are award-winning writer, performer and theatre maker, and Honorary Fellow of Rose Bruford College Travis Alabanza, and multidisciplinary ‘artivist’, curator, mentor and artistic director Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (crazinisT artisT).
Alongside course director Dr Phoebe Patey-Ferguson, Travis Alabanza and Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (crazinisT artisT) are working with Queer Performance students throughout their studies, sharing their significant expertise by leading workshops, giving lectures and supporting students through ongoing mentorship with development of their practice. As part of their roles, the College is proud to be providing ongoing support to both Associate Artists with research and training.
Associate Artist Travis Alabanza
Travis Alabanza is an award-winning writer, performer and theatre maker from Bristol. Their writing, performance and public discourse centres on trans and Black identities. Their work is interested in audience, risk and unclear conclusions. For stage, Travis wrote and performed in their debut show Burgerz which won the Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, sold out at Southbank Centre and Traverse Theatre and toured internationally.
Their play Overflow, which premiered at and streamed from The Bush, was met with critical acclaim including numerous four-star reviews and was shortlisted for the George Devine Award, as well as their recent play Sound of the Underground receiving critical acclaim. Their debut book None of the Above was released in 2022, and was the winner of the Jhalak Literary Prize, Somerset Maugham Award and a Waterstones best seller.
Associate Artist Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (crazinisT artisT)
Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (crazinisT artisT) is a transwoman who works internationally but lives in Kumasi, Ghana. Fiatsi is a multidisciplinary ‘artivist’, curator, mentor, the founder and artistic director of crazinisT artisT studio and perfocraZe International Artists Residency (pIAR) which aimed at promoting exchange between international and local artists, activists, researchers, curators, and thinkers. As a performer and installation artist, crazinisT investigates gender stereotypes, prejudices, queerness, identity politics and conflicts, sexual stigma and their consequences for marginalized groups or individuals.
With rituals and a gender-fluid persona, Fiatsi employs her own body as a thought-provoking tool in performances, photography, video, and installations, ‘life-and-live-art’ confronting issues such as disenfranchisement, social justice, violence, objectification, internalized oppression, anti-Blackness, systemic indoctrination and many more. crazinisT has performed and exhibited across the globe including countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Switzerland, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, Cape Verde, USA, Spain, Brazil, France and UK.
Find out more about our Queer Performance MA programme.
Photos by Griff Townsend and Julian Salinas.