The Shape of Emotion

Lefatshe je/ Ke le tshelang/ Le nkisa dinaleding/ Le ha tsela e mpalela/ E nkentsha dikeledi/ Ga nkitla ka lo latlha/ Ke tla lo atlarela ka diatla

- HHP (1980-2018)


This is an invitation which urges you to listen, as well as you know how, to all that follows. Allow yourself to see what is made visible and what is made (in)visible by the body/voice which is both here and not, all at the same time. An invitation to look at language as a dance of mimicry. A choreography of the shaping of words.


A concerted effort from research observing the emotional effect of language on my body in various context; the operational tactility of language in various context; the emotional peculiarity of insertion of various languages in my mouth.


Singing:                              TRVΛNIΛ                     

Music/Sounddesign:     Nicolas Berge

Video:                                  Lenya Kgabi-Berge

Sounddesign:                   Tobias Purfürst

Light design:                     Emilio Cordero Checa

                                              Catalina Fernandez


SoDA Works, Uferstudios, Berlin 2018  

Photo: Paula Faraco
Photo: Paula Faraco

Photos: Marc Seestaedt  

Color me B-

Berlin. 24.01.2015

The multimedia theatre performance uses sound, language
and movement to renegotiate identity and to challenge a form of forging an identity based on stereotyped classifications according to skin colour and origin. The dialogue draws on the myths of Sisyphus and Narcissus, and using photography, colours, drawings, voice and movement, explores inner and social conflicts between the “West” and the former colonies.

I am not my colour

The colour of my skin is brown, perhaps a light shade of brown. If we are all using the same standards of identifying colours, that is the shade of my skin. When I bruise the red blood coagulates and it is purple or blue black. The insides of my palm are...I do not know what this colour is actually called. After I run or dance or make love I can see the blood flowing red in my palms. When I am cold my cuticles go slightly purple or blue, just like when I am bruised. My hair is curly. Naturally so. In order for it to run with the wind I would have to blow dry it or put chemical relaxer in it. My hair is tight screw curly. I grew up in an open minded home. I had access to books and to people from different cultures, religions, races and political affiliations. We rose from oppression in our region self imposed and externally charged upon us. Due to this culture of oppression education and open mindedness seem to have been assumed to belong or have autonomy with ‘white people’ is this correct colour? I believe it belongs to people. The material is now available for all of us to access. The previously oppressed will regard or deem an educated black person as one who thinks they are better or white. No, I am brown skinned from a line of educators. Those from the lineage of colonisation will regard me and say I speak well ...I am well spoken and I don’t know if I feel proud or ashamed. I am sometimes conflicted by this. I am not arrogant. I am just whom I am. I am a culmination of the people I have spoken to. The places I have slept in. The food I have eaten. The books I have read. The music I have listened to. The games I have played. The lovers I have cradled. I bleed a blood which is the same rouge as the next man.


We Are Tomorrow, Ballhaus Naunynstraße, Berlin 2015

Photo: Lenya Kgabi-Berge
Photo: Lenya Kgabi-Berge

Shades Of a Queen

Shades of a Queen is a coming-of-age, coming-to-self, coming-out piece exploring the identity constructs of an African Queer child. The creative process was based on personal experiences and challenges in the journey to coming out both literally and metaphorically. Her Majesty the Queen (a.k.a. Mmakgosi, which translates to ‘‘The Mother of the Chief“) battles with stepping out of the house and out of the closet. She confronts her self in all her majestic glory, and the demons and counter-masks that reveal themselves as identity constructs come into being from mundane interactions with the world. 


Shades of a Queern ist ein Stück übers Erwachsen werden, Selbst werden, übers coming-out, ein Stück, das sich mit den Identitätskonstruktionen eines afrikanischen queeren Kindes auseinandersetzt. Es basiert auf persönlichen Erfahrungen und Herausforderungen auf der coming-out Reise auf wörtlicher und metaphoprischer Ebene. Ihre Majestät die Königin (alias Mmakgosi, was sich als „Mutter des Häuptlings“ übersetzen lässt) kämpft damit, aus dem Haus zu gehen. Sie konfrontiert ihr Selbst im ganzen majestätischen Glanz, und die Dämonen und Masken, die sich als Identitätskonstruktionen in den alltäglichen Situationen des Lebens zu erkennen geben.


Detours Festival, Johannesburg 2012

Constanza Macras/ Dorky Park, Berlin 2014

Queer New York Festival, New York 2015

Aktionstage gegen Sexismus, Rostock 2016

TRANSFORM! Festival, Marseille 2017

Queer Zagreb Festival, Zagreb 2017

Photo: Thomas Aurin
Photo: Thomas Aurin

Tanz der Migration:                      Jeden Tag laufen ich

Berlin. 12.07.2015

An excerpt evolution from my second work Color Me B – performed at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse as part of the ”We are tomorrow. Visions and Retrospection on Occasion of the 1884 Berlin Conference”.

A 12-15 min piece exploring a juxstaposition of the Greek mythology Sisyphos and Narccist supported by ancient african meditation rituals and butoh.