Last Yearz Interesting Negro

Last Yearz Interesting Negro

Jamila Johnson-Small is a London born and based artist of Caribbean descent. Johnson-Small performs under the name Last Yearz Interesting Negro and makes shows that feature video, sculpture, poetry, and dancing, working with in-between spaces, syncopation, trance states, internal narratives, intensities, overwhelm, electronic music, and small dances to affect/disrupt/deflect/distort/reflect gaze(s) directed towards their body, and to cope with being. Resultant choreographies are stage/dreamspace/battleground, working through questions of presence, visibility, responsibility, and pleasure, building atmospheric landscapes through the live unfolding of the tensions between things that produce meaning, for situating and expanding (or dismantling) their "identity" and turning it into theatre.

Their current research is around boundaries, betrayal, nonbelonging, scale, pleasure and trans/formation, on personal/structural/symptomatic/somatic levels. Thinking about impact and exchange through/in/as movement, considering the intimacy and treachery of performance.

Not interested in invention or innovation they use things that are already there and rearrange them in an effort to encounter some unholy combination that resonates with the horror, discomfort, cringe, confusion, and sensuality of this contemporary moment and their position within it, opening up spaces in thinking, feeling, reading, and dancing.The landscapes they create for her dancing body to inhabit with a public, seek to access and utilize her own power for her own ends, disentangling from—or entangling herself further with—the isms that instrumentalize their existence on a daily basis without consent.

Recent works include i ride in colour and soft focus, no longer anywhere (Fierce festival and the Marlborough Theatre), BASICTENSION (ICA, Live Art Bistro), Sounds 4 Survival (Wysing Arts Centre) and FuryZ (Block Universe with Gaia Art Foundation). Regular collaborators include Alexandrina Hemsley (Project O), Phoebe Collings-James (Sounds 4 Survival), Fernanda Munoz-Newsome, Shelley Parker (FuryZ) and Rowdy SS (Fury1, 48hours:).