by and with Selina Thompson
Direction: Dawn Walton
Guest performance during FIND 2020
In »salt.«, British performer Selina Thompson is a passenger on board a commercial container ship taking the route upon which her ancestors were deported from Ghana to Jamaica and then on to Britain. Thompson’s forebears were among several million black men, women and children sold as slaves whose work made Western prosperity possible and served as the foundation of contemporary European economic success. On her own journey, Thompson is confronted with normalised, systemic and casual racism and observes patriarchal power structures within the crew, suggesting that the colonial past is not as distant as she believed it was before embarking. As Thompson stands in front of the »Door of No Return« at Elmina Castle in Ghana and looks out to the Atlantic Ocean, she recalls the people who died there, on the journey and in the plantations. How can the sorrow that she feels at that moment exist in a world which also contains such banal things as post offices and perfume atomisers? And what does it mean to live as a black woman in a country with a majority white population?
Selina Thompson focuses in her work on questions of identity politics and explores what it means to be Black British. She has developed projects for pubs, cafés, hair salons, public toilets and also for galleries and theatres including the National Theatre Studio, Birmingham Rep, East Street Arts and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Dawn Walton founded the Eclipse Theatre Company in 2010, one of UK’s principal national production companies and was, until 2019, the group’s artistic and managing director. As a director she has worked at numerous theatres such as the Royal Court Theatre, the Young Vic and most recently the National Theatre Scotland.
Set and Costume Design: Katherina Radeva
Sound Design: Tanuja Amarasuriya
Lighting Design: Cassie Mitchell, Louise Charity
With: Selina Thompson
Duration: ca. 75 minutes
Commissioned by MAYK, Theatre Bristol and Yorkshire Festival.
Supported by Arts
Council England and 200 kind and generous donors who funded the voyage across the Atlantic.
FIND is supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin