December 11 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
In this mid-winter salon, MZD Associate Artist 2021-22, Lebo Disele comes together with some of Edmonton’s most exciting artists to explore place, voice and visibility. Site/Sight/Place is an interdisciplinary performance that brings together the West African and Caribbean Dances of Masani St. Rose and the searing poetry of Shima Robinson a.k.a. Dwennimmen, amongst others, to ask “Where are we seen?” “When are we seen?” “How are we seen?” Visual artist, Elsa Robinson, brings a spiritual grounding to this performance through a co-created collage with the audience.
Lebo Disele, Elsa Robinson, Masani St. Rose, Shima Robinson
Lebo Disele is a PhD candidate in the drama department at the University of Alberta. Her focus in theatre includes movement, acting, directing, and dramaturgy. Most recently she created and performed The Space Between for NextFest Digital (2021). Other performance credits include Brandon Wint’s The Antidote to Violence as Care (forthcoming); Baki and Mands in Azimuth Theatre’s workshopped production, All That Binds Us (2020); Amina in Belleville (2020), directed by Amanda Goldberg at the Bleviss Laboratory Theatre; Words Unzipped at the 2019 SkirtsAfire Festival curated by Karimah Marshall; What (Black) Life Requires at the 2018 Expanse Festival and Unwoven at the 2018 SkirtsAfire Festival, curated by Nasra Adem. Lebo is focused on interdisciplinary art that places the body at the centre as a process of exploring how oppression impacts and lives in the body.
Elsa Robinson is an Edmonton-based mixed media artist, sculptor and painter whose decadeslong devotion to artistic practice has imbued her work with vibrancy, versatility and an intuitive
spiritual poignancy. She began her art career as a self-taught artist, and she now holds a Bachelor
of Arts degree from the University of Alberta's Art and Design program and a Master of Fine
Arts degree from the Vermont College of Fine Art. Through her years of study, Elsa has honed
the ability to transmit her deep love and care for humanity using a range of visual modes.
With careful attention to colour, shape, texture, intuition and the power of cultural symbols, Elsa
is able to express the notions of love, friendship, inner strength, equality and ancestral
connection that most powerfully guide her own life. For her ability to distil, in the space of a
single image, the wisdoms and experiences that are most important to the human condition, Elsa
Robinson has become a celebrated and award-winning artist. Most notably, she was the recipient
of the 2012 Fill Fraser Award for Outstanding Work in Visual Arts, as awarded by the National
Black Coalition of Canada as well as a recipient of the Cultural Diversity in the Arts Grant from
the Edmonton Arts Council in 2008, 2016, 2018 and the Individual Artist Grant in 2020.
Elsa Robinson is also a passionate and experienced arts educator who facilitates workshops for
artists of all ages and experience levels. Her devotion, skill, craft and spiritual fortitude has
allowed her to forge a much-respected and versatile place within the artistic communities of
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is a community builder who uses her remarkable artistry to
create conversation, reflection and moments of undeniable emotional connection, wherein the
humanity of the viewer, and the artist herself, is held in mutual integrity and esteem.
Masani St. Rose
Bio: A native Calgarian who was immersed into dancing at the tender age of 3, specializing in West African and Caribbean dance. Upon the introduction to dance, Masani found passion for the West African culture and style. It was through training under Michèle Moss-Johnston at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, she was able to build her foundation. Still working very closely with Michèle Moss-Johnston and various other artists from Guinea, West Africa, she finds every opportunity to take master classes from artists from various regions of Africa including Congo, Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Guinea and Zimbabwe. Throughout the years, Masani has worked with various studios and professional groups across Canada. It is her mission to keep the art and culture alive from soul to sole!
Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton - Treaty 6) born poet and spoken word artist Shima Robinson embodies, with every poem, the ancient meaning of her chosen pen name. Dwennimmen is the name of an ancient African Adinkra symbol, which means strength, humility, learning and wisdom. It is no surprise, then, that this veteran of the Alberta poetry community uses a searing intellect and dynamic precision-of-language to create poetry which ushers her readers and listeners toward greater understanding and poignant reflection. For Dwennimmen, poetry has long been a compass, a salve, an anchor and guiding light. She uses the potential and force of poetry to uncover the full range of her cerebral, linguistic and spiritual fortitude. This is why her every poem and performance testifies to an emerging power and wisdom, an authentic, deeply human potency which she hopes to pass on to listeners and poetry-lovers around the world.