Nelisiwe Xaba

“Urban Mermaid”
Uncertain Places. Eine Nachtausstellung

Urban Mermaid

Guilty Landscapes

© Mocke J van Veuren, skyline photo by Chris7cn

Born and raised in Dube, Soweto, Nelisiwe Xaba began her international career in dance almost 20 years ago. Returning to South Africa in 1997, Xaba joined Pact Dance Company and later launched her solo career, addressing the politics attached to being a black, female dancer. Throughout all her projects Xaba’s gender activism stays related to her artistic work. “The Urban Mermaid” takes its inspiration from the mermaid myth. Like the siren that causes shipwreck, the urban mermaid humorously and tragically wreaks havoc in the swimming pools of suburban Johannesburg. Ironically, the Urban Mermaid cannot swim and the drought situation in South Africa forces her to look for donations from Valpre and Evian for water to fill her plastic swimming pool.

Concept, performance Nelisiwe Xaba
Music Siya Makhuzeni
Video, assistance Candida Merwe
Artistic advice Mocke J van Veuren

Production: Berliner Festspiele / Foreign Affairs