Blackfacing is a racist theatrical practice that makes stereotypes and prejudices painfully visible. Yet we still encounter it today on numerous stages. In her one-woman, stand-up comedy rock show ›Black Off‹, the Bern-based South African artist Ntando Cele turns the tables. Her alter ego Bianca White enters the stage with a blond wig, blue contact lenses and a full ›whiteface‹. Bianca White is a globetrotter who between yoga, meditation and self-help courses still finds the time to advocate for people who are not as well off as she. She cheerfully bloviates about a world in which we can finally all overcome our inner and outer ›blackness‹. But then the Black punk Vera Black comes onstage and thoroughly stirs up the joint…
Ntando Cele works at the intersection of physical theater, video art, music, and performance. With a talent for politically incorrect humor, she brings home to the audience the kind of gazes Black people are exposed to in dominant white culture and confronts her white spectators with their racist patterns of thought through a radical change in perspective.
The piece contains intense images referencing to racism and racist violence and can be re-traumatising for people who experienced racism.
The piece uses stroboscope light effects
IDEA, CONCEPT, PERFORMANCE, VOICE, VIDEO Ntando Cele
MUSIC/COMPOSITION/SIDEKICK Simon Ho (p)
MUSIC/SIDEKICK Patrick Abt (guit)
MUSIC Pit Hertig (dr)
TEXT, CO-DIRECTION, ADAPTION, DRAMATURGY Raphael Urweider
LIGHT DESIGN Tonio Finkam
LIGHT TECHNIC, TECHNICAL DIRECTION Maria Liechti
SOUND DESIGN Valerio Rodelli
PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Michael Röhrenbach
Kindly supported by the Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, the Canton Berne Cultural Promotion department, the department of culture of the city of Berne and Migros Kulturprozent.