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Effie Nkrumah

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MA Arts Politics Class of 2017

Effie, also known as Benumah, is an interdisciplinary Ghanaian-Australian artist. She relies on memory, theory, the archive and narrative to challenge the mainstream. Effie’s practice is driven by the concept of “challenging the single story” of Africa, continental Africans in diaspora and their experiences. She writes about the concept of Blackness and the constructs of race. Effie spent 4 years working for Ghana’s leading theatre company before getting a Masters in Arts Politics from New York University.

What drew you to the MA Arts Politics program?

I am interested in both art and the politics of Blackness in diaspora.
I wanted a space where I could investigate both and see where I fit into discourse and performance.

How do you describe or identify your practice/ work?

Interdisciplinary, I work mainly in performance, including poetry, comedy, dance, installation and tableaux vivant to create works that are entertaining, aesthetically pleasing and discussion prompting.

How did your experience in the program shape your work?

The experienced helped me to embrace the fullness of my practice and to see that there is room for all of it. It gave me the chance to understand that I do not have to be one thing at any one time. I created my Tableaux Vivant show "See What I See? - An evening of Diasporan Observations" under the guidance of Karen Finely, this was the both a culmination and a catalyst for my renewed sense of direction. 

What are you doing now?

I recently got into the Stage Directors and Choreographers Observership. I am working on a dance piece for "Talking Drums: Stand up, Speak Out" for CCCADI. I am also working on some show proposals and just finished up in the Hemispheric Institute's EmergeNYC program.