go go othello theater
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Ntando Cele
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November 21, 2021
Art
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Go Go Othello: Ntando Cele Takes Back The Center Stage

It is the story of a black actress, who has grown tired of seeing the role of Othello being attributed to white actors. It is the story of Ntando Cele, who is tired of stereotypes on black women in the arts.

We have already talked about misogynoir in a recent project, Black Women Are Worthy, aiming to provide black survivors of sexual assault with the appropriate support, as well as in our article on Aya Nakamura and the music industry. And we will talk about it some more.

Born in South Africa and living in Bern, Switzerland, Ntando Cele is a talented actress and performer. She has studied theater in South Africa and the Netherlands, before co-founding her own company, Manaka Empowerment Prod. in 2013. Ntando’s work focuses on questions of racism and gender stereotypes, deconstructing the attempts society projects on black people and especially black women. In order to do so, she plays with the limits of theater, mixing it with video installations, concerts and performances, with a sharp sense of humour.

Her latest show, ‘Go go Othello’, points out one simple and yet so problematic fact: Othello, one of the very rare roles for black people in classical theatre, has majoritarily been played by white actors. So, if Othello is played by white people, then what roles is she, as a black woman, left with?

‘Go go Othello’ is an exploration of ordinary racism and the stereotypes black women suffer from. It tells the life story of many past and present black women performers. In this new piece, Ntando questions the exoticism with which black women have been presented to the white audience, mixing stand up, dance, songs and strip tease. A must see!

If you are intrigued, we have a little teaser just for you. And if you live in Switzerland, Ntando will be performing her show at the end of the week for the Creatives festival, a feminist cultural festival in Geneva. Enjoy!

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