“A Conversation with ____” is a new feature that we are launching on the Mile Zero blog in which Dirt Buffet Cabaret curators are asked a series of questions from DBC founder Ben Gorodetsky.

Nasra Adem (or NASRA) is a queer, Muslim, Oromo curator/creator. They were the Youth Poet Laureate of Edmonton from 2016 to 2017 and are currently the Director of Sister to Sister, an artistic showcase for/by femmes and women of colour. They are also the Festival Director of Black Arts Matter—Alberta’s interdisciplinary Black arts festival—and were the 2017 recipient of the Mayor’s Emerging Artist award. NASRA’s first poetry chapbook A God Dance in Human Cloth with Glass Buffalo Publishing celebrates the soft warrior in all of us; a call to step into our divinity and into ourselves, with fists unclenched.

Ben Gorodetsky: What kind of mood or vibe are you hoping to cultivate for the October 4 DBC you are curating?

Nasra Adem: A warm, playful place where it’s cool to play with your shadow. To be all the way grown and a full child. Whimsical, mysterious, open to anything.

B: What is the most surprised you have been in a performance context? (by a performer, or audience, or anything else)

N: I was performing in this show with a bunch of young local musicians and mcs and one of the nerdiest lookin dudes in the band got absolutely buckwild with his tambourine during the chorus of one of their songs. He jumped in to the audience every single time and was RAGING and then would go back to the band super chill until the chorus comes around again. Each time it was hilarious, surprisingly unexpected and way too much fun. 

B: Your work often takes on the important and difficult task of dismantling exploitative power structures. Do you see all art as political? Or is active (activist) intention necessary for work to be considered political?

N: I think all art is political because our lives are inherently political. Anything I make inside this body, a body that has been subject to conditioning by these policies and structures, is going to be political. Intention has a huge role in it too. It is definitely my intention to be actively conscious about these structures when I create, when I know that isn’t the case with everyone. 

B: What do you think Edmonton needs in 2018?

N: More intergenerational spaces to chill, create and learn. Critical conversations on reparations. A reaaaaaallllllyyyyyyy good hug. 

B: If you could curate anyone (living or dead, local or global) for a DBC, who would it be?

N: Tank n the Bangaz, Erykah Badu, Eartha Kitt, Toni Morrison, with Tiffany Haddish as the host.

Dirt Buffet Cabaret
Thursday, October 4
8 PM
$10 or best offer