My performance practice approaches storytelling in a way that challenges assumptions authorship, authority and normative economies of the gaze. I celebrate the Noble Savage, interrogate the myth of 'civilised man' and indulge in the cruel, seductive impossibility of being good.

A selection of short fiction from the past few years...

I am currently reading a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London. My research centres around intersectionality and alterity, emancipatory politics and the end of the world within the contemporary moment.

Film Review: “The Black Panthers: the hidden history”

panthers_film_lg

Last October (29/10/15) I reviewed Stanley Nelson’s “The Black Panthers: the hidden history” for Counterfire.

I liked it very much.

Read the review here.

Last October (29/10/15) I reviewed Stanley Nelson’s “The Black Panthers: the hidden history” for Counterfire. I liked it very much. Read the review here.

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Discussing Race Relations with Dotun Adebayo

RRA65

Last November  (15/11/15) I joined Alexandrina Hemsley  on Dotun Adebayo’s BBC radio show.

We spoke about the impact of the Race Relations Act, since its inception 50 years ago.

 

Last November  (15/11/15) I joined Alexandrina Hemsley  on Dotun Adebayo’s BBC radio show. We spoke about the impact of the Race Relations Act, since its inception 50 years ago.  

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Simon Bowes Reviews “Happines Forgets”

Happiness Forgets, photo by Meg Lavender
http://simonbowes.tumblr.com/post/134216330462/013-theatre-vigilance-season

http://simonbowes.tumblr.com/post/134216330462/013-theatre-vigilance-season

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The Whole Darned Thing

Scan18

“Deal with it kiddo.  Life’s no fairytale. Now sleep tight, and if you have a nightmare, DON’T WAKE ME UP.”

Back in February I joined Deborah Pearson on her podcast series “The Whole Darned Thing.”

My job was to tell  Deborah  the entire plot-line of something they have seen or read; I chose the Little Mermaid.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

“Deal with it kiddo.  Life’s no fairytale. Now sleep tight, and if you have a nightmare, DON’T WAKE ME UP.” Back in February I joined Deborah Pearson on her podcast series “The Whole Darned Thing.” My job was to tell  Deborah  the entire plot-line of something they have seen or read; I chose the Little Mermaid. Enjoy! […]

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Happiness Forgets at Lagos Theatre Festival

Happiness Forgets

Happiness Forgets @ Lagos Theatre Festival

This week I’m in Africa to perform as part of the Lagos Theatre Festival.  I have been invited by the British Council to present my touring production of Happiness Forgets.

Happiness Forgets is a lecture, an ode and an elegy for our imperfect past, for the people we once were and can never be again. In this piece, Season Butler pins down the past, examines it under a microscope, charges it with electricity to see if she can make it dance.

Venue: University of Lagos (Main Auditorium) / Freedom Park (Museum)

Dates: Thursday 25 Feb, 5pm; Friday 26 Feb, 3pm & 6pm; Saturday 27 Feb, 3pm; Sunday 28 Feb, 3pm


 

About Lagos Theatre Festival: A partnership of the British Council and FirstBank

The Lagos Theatre Festival, which first launched in 2012, was born out of the need to create professional exchange opportunities between the Nigerian and British theatre makers, stimulating innovation in theatre practice and changing the face of performing arts in Nigeria.

 

British Council

 

 

 

2015 Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival, Chelsea Theatre (for Sacred), Colchester Arts Centre, Compass, Live Collision and Lancaster Arts.

Work developed during a Staycation Residency at Chisenhale Dance Space.

Photo: Christa Holka (2015)

Arts Council England

Happiness Forgets @ Lagos Theatre Festival This week I’m in Africa to perform as part of the Lagos Theatre Festival.  I have been invited by the British Council to present my touring production of Happiness Forgets. Happiness Forgets is a lecture, an ode and an elegy for our imperfect past, for the people we once […]

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DEMISE OF THE URBAN FREE at SPILL FESTIVAL 2015

DEMISE OF THE URBAN FREE @ SPILL

Thursday 5 November, 2015
5:30pm
FREE

 

On Thursday 5 November I will be speaking at SPILL FESTIVAL on a panel entitled DEMISE OF THE URBAN FREE.

More info here.

I was fortunate enough to be on a selection panel for the Festival Showcase and was a Showcase artist in 2013 for my performance The Woman Who Walks On Knives.

DEMISE OF THE URBAN FREE @ SPILL Thursday 5 November, 2015 5:30pm FREE   On Thursday 5 November I will be speaking at SPILL FESTIVAL on a panel entitled DEMISE OF THE URBAN FREE. More info here. I was fortunate enough to be on a selection panel for the Festival Showcase and was a Showcase […]

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Happiness Forgets

Happiness Forgets

HAPPINESS FORGETS

I was looking for a little comfort. Turns out, the past wasn’t the place to find it…

Remember the good old days when everyone got along, when life was simple, when our television screens protected us from sex, violence and the discomfort of difference? Remember when police were friendly, politicians were statesmen, mothers were wholesome, the rich worked hard and celebrities were role models? Remember when we knew where we belonged?

Me neither.

Starting from a Cosby Show binge, viewing the pre-digital past through the dirty glasses of hindsight, Happiness Forgets interrogates the space between celebrities and fans, credibility and doubt, comedy and tragedy. It’s about race, sex, nostalgia and the moment when we see something familiar in a whole new light.

Happiness Forgets takes the form of a lecture performance utilising dance, video, and sound.

Happiness Forgets Live Tumblr – a dramaturgical repository.

The piece debuts at The Drum in Birmingham as part of the Fierce Festival on 11 October, 2015.

UK PERFORMANCE DATES:

Leeds:  7 November 2015 at Live Art Bistro

London:  26 November 2015 Sacred Festival at The Chelsea Theatre

Lancaster: February 2016 at Lancaster Arts

AFRICA PERFORAMNCE DATES:

Lagos: 25-28 February 2016 at Lagos Theatre Festival

PRESS FOR HAPPINESS FORGETS:

The Guardian Interview Season Butler

Co-commissioned by Fierce Festival, Chelsea Theatre (for Sacred), Colchester Arts Centre, Compass, Live Collision and Lancaster Arts.

Work developed during a Staycation Residency at Chisenhale Dance Space.

Photo: Christa Holka (2015)

grant_png_black

Happiness Forgets is a new multi-media performance by Season Butler, debuting at the Fierce Festival on 11 October 2015, followed by its London debut in the Sacred Festival at Chelsea Theatre, November 2015

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Long March to Freedom – Documentary by Frances Legg

“This summer marked the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On that demonstration, civil rights leader Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
In ‘Long March to Freedom’, Frances Legg investigates the legacy of that day and asks how life has since changed for black Americans. Featuring interviews with Reverend Jesse Jackson, Congressman John Lewis and writer Season Butler.” Summer 2013

Part One: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mRvB0ARV1M
Part Two: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqgorVFznng&feature=youtu.be

“This summer marked the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On that demonstration, civil rights leader Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. In ‘Long March to Freedom’, Frances Legg investigates the legacy of that day […]

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Walking at Night While Black and Male: Trayvon Martin and the State of Race in America

On 26 February, 2012, a boy was fatally shot on a residential street on his way home from buying sweets, but his killing was not murder. Prisoners (the majority of whom are black men) pick cotton in the sun for pennies per hour, watched by (almost always white) guards mounted on horseback and armed with rifles, but their labour is not slavery. Four-year-old black girls are shown images of cartoon girls, identical except their range of skin colours, and asked to point to the pretty girl; they overwhelmingly point to the palest, but these children have not been abused.

On Saturday 13 July, George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on the grounds of self defence.

When I woke up this morning to the news of Zimmerman’s acquittal, I didn’t share my Facebook friends’ “WTF?!” reactions. Except one: “This is what our lives are worth.” I feel unsurprised and exhausted by a story that feels, to me, desperately old.

I’ve always known that Walking at Night While Black and Male is a crime in America, one on a long list, with a range of punishments and militias who feel tasked to enforce the subtle rules of race and mobility.

‘Racial problems are greater because we think we don’t have them.’ Toni Morrison

Read the full article here http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/opinion/16565-walking-at-night-while-black-and-male-trayvon-martin-and-the-state-of-race-in-america-#sthash.FzdiUzLW.dpuf

As George Zimmerman is acquitted of murder, the myth of a ‘post-racial America’ is debunked once again – See more at www.counterfire.org/

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Book Review: Irregular Army: How the US Military Recruited Neo-Nazis, Gang Members, and Criminals to Fight the War on Terror by Matt Kennard

News of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has come to constitute the macabre white noise of early twenty-first-century life. Matt Kennard’s recent book, Irregular Army, provides a complex insight into disturbing recruitment trends, and exposes the long-term effects of the manic drive to enlist soldiers in sufficient numbers to sustain the tragically protracted ‘War on Terror’.

The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq created a need for soldiers which the existing recruitment systems simply could not satisfy. The already unpopular Bush administration could not risk repealing laws which prohibit involuntary conscription, following the deeply unpopular Vietnam draft, to make up for a desperate shortfall in volunteers. Private mercenary firms like the now infamous Blackwater and Dyncorp were unleashed, and NATO forces joined the fight, but the numbers still proved insufficient.

If recruitment targets were to be met, standards regulating the kinds of volunteers who would be allowed to join up would have to be relaxed, ignored or abandoned. At the same time, a number of surreptitious tactics and insidious abuses of individuals’ rights were perpetrated in order to get enough boots on the ground in the Gulf and Afghanistan. As ever, people enter the army to secure their future and obtain transferable skills; Irregular Army points out that this is still taking place, sometimes in the most sinister and socially-corrosive ways.

See more at: http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/book-reviews/16129-irregular-army-how-the-us-military-recruited-neo-nazis-gang-members-and-criminals-to-fight-the-war-on-terror#sthash.b179jYxp.dpuf

A disturbing new look at the US army during the ‘War on Terror’ reveals further horrors of the last decade of imperialist war – See more on counterfire.org

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Everything About You

Cruising for Art at the Basement, Brighton, 2011, photo © Christa Holka

Season Butler has never met anyone like you before…

(devised for Cruising for Art

Deployed at Latitude Festival, under the piano at the BFI bar, The Basement (Brighton), ANTI-Festival (Kuopio, Finland)

Season Butler has never met anyone like you before… (devised for Cruising for Art Deployed at Latitude Festival, under the piano at the BFI bar, The Basement (Brighton), ANTI-Festival (Kuopio, Finland)

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maiitude |mī ē toōd|

photo © Christa Holka

maiitude |mī ē toōd|

noun [neologism]

1. A certain non-pejorative quality of flatness; the specific, fiddly quiddity of flat objects.

2. The particular way that flat objects move, particularly their tendency to jump.

3. Signifier-signified hyper-aggregation; the relation to the text or images on one side of a page to the text or images on the reverse.
3a. The piece of paper behaves like its text (or doesn’t):
‘at’ is incredibly easy to spot. It’s just always there.
‘tall’ isn’t. ‘attractive’ is, ‘avoid’ does.
3b. The ‘O’ box is Fernando Pessoa’s life, a puddle of days keeping books, the insufferable sea of ‘of’s, with the occasional ‘ochre’ of a Lisbon sunset on the side of a building, or the ‘ostensible’ of an epiphany that the grocer also has a soul, or the odd encounter with ‘other’s.
3c. A specific trompe l’oeil when the meaning of a word alters one’s perception of the shape of the object on which it is printed or in which it is contained.

4. Stupid proximity poetry:
‘England’ ‘erectus’
‘attractive’ ‘adults’ ‘always’ ‘a’ ‘a’ ‘a’ ‘a’
The Poor Arithmetic of Proximity:
‘for’ ‘for’ ‘for’ ‘for’ ‘fourteen’

5. My own tendency to read in to tiny texts which are not messages and were not meant for me: The Way It Makes Me Want Things;
I want to get a job writing ransom notes.

I’m troubled by the ‘H’ box. It’s full of ‘her’. I’m looking for ‘here’ and there’s ‘her’. I’m looking for ‘hear’ and there’s ‘her’. I’m looking for ‘help’ and there’s ‘her’. I’m looking for ‘him’ and there’s ‘her’. ‘Hirsute’ ‘harmonica’, the tiny comfort of the blues.

maiitude at ]performance s p a c e[ 2012, video by Timothy Smith

maiitude |mī ē toōd| – noun [neologism]

1. A certain non-pejorative quality of flatness; the specific, fiddly quiddity of flat objects.

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Chicken? (Naw, not me…) – I’m With You 14: Gorge at Apiary Studios

“Gorge: Chicken is the second iteration of an ongoing project that brings bodies around a dinner table for a messy politically-charged encounter with other eating bodies.” Johanna Linsley, I’m With You co-producer.

imwithyou.me/2014/04/14/iwy-14-gorge-chicken-documentation/
apiarystudios.org

Photos by Tim Smith, Christa Holka and Philipp Carl

“Gorge: Chicken is the second iteration of an ongoing project that brings bodies around a dinner table for a messy politically-charged encounter with other eating bodies.” Johanna Linsley, I’m With You co-producer. imwithyou.me/2014/04/14/iwy-14-gorge-chicken-documentation/ apiarystudios.org Photos by Tim Smith, Christa Holka and Philipp Carl

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Three Courses Served Cold

Three Courses

A Performative Installation by Season Butler and Hannah Ringham (Shunt) with Neil Bennun, Ottillie Parfitt, Georgia Jacob, Ben Ringham and Max Ringham.

Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats for a gentle disaster for two. Three courses, three times a night. It will be our pleasure to serve you.

A Performative Installation by Season Butler and Hannah Ringham (Shunt) with Neil Bennun, Ottillie Parfitt, Georgia Jacob, Ben Ringham and Max Ringham. Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats for a gentle disaster for two. Three courses, three times a night. It will be our pleasure to serve you.

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