Born to Protest is part of a Hip-Hop dance theatre sequel Joseph Toonga is curating to highlight black excellence. It follows the male duet created in 2019 Born to Manifest that toured to 14 UK venues in 7 months in 2019/2020 illuminating the experiences of young black British men. It responds to the relentless incidents that continue to occur today and simultaneously champions cultural identity and challenges racial stigmas.
Born to Protest is about the dance now occupying a public space that guarantees an audience to show the true representation of black men, the hypersensitivity of the black male body in space, and magnifies that by a mass group of 10 – 12 performers.
On the one hand, we see them as intimidating, dangerous and a unique breed, through the presumptions and supposed threat they pose in our society. Yet Joseph dismantles these presumptions, showing their fragility and vulnerability from constantly battling to prove themselves against the social stereotypes put upon them and the oppression of one’s self this causes.
Outdoor spaces are the perfect opportunity to engage with audiences new to dance and create a space where audience responses become a part of the performance leading the intensity of each performance confronting individuals with their unconscious bias and bridging a primal political conversation.
Born to Protest will be in creation from March 2021 ahead of touring from June 2021.