Cotton is really important, because

it references the history America has in relationship to Black bodies.

Havanna Fisher

Choreographer & Activist

The Cotton Series

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October 4, 2019

The New School | New York, NY

Tufts of raw cotton still in their casings ran the length of the stage, their presence awakening epochs of history: colonialism, enslavement, industry, trade, capitalism, commodification, and fashion. Creating a 400 Years of Inequality observance, choreographer, designer, and activist, Havanna Fisher, accompanied by six members of The Cotton Series Collective, performed three episodes of a multi-media performance work in New York City. Many of these women formed a “moral coalition” rooted in their shared history of experiencing inequality as Black bodied dancers in white academic spaces.

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6______ Bodies

“6______ Bodies” explores the concept of sisterhood and what role it plays in the mental, spiritual and physical survival of Black women in America. What does our sisterhood look like in physical form and how do people who aren’t Black women see our sisterhood?

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Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

Photography by Maria J. Hackett

The Cotton Series | Performed by:

Marianna Noguera-Devers

Havanna Fisher

Na’ilah Harris

Isabella Jackson

Diana Uribe

Jean Wakati

Birth a Workforce

“Birth of a Work-Force” seeks to uncover the many ways that Black women have had to perform labor in America. From having the responsibility of giving birth to America's primary free labor workforce for over 200 years to being the forgotten leaders of many labor rights movements in the USA.

If We Ain’t Laughing With You

"If we ain’t laughing with you" is a piece that aims to explore Black Women and laughter and how the things we do to enjoy ourselves get reinterpreted and commodified in ways that don't represent the reality of who we are or removing the visibility of Black women completely.

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An Interview with Havanna Fisher 

The Cotton Series

Film Trailer

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For Fisher, cotton, a kind of archival fragment, evokes an “unspoken sisterhood.” By touching its fibers, she imagines herself into the hands, lives, souls, and communities of enslaved Black women picking, gathering, processing, and creating with it, despite the violent industry and enslavement associated with it. “Cotton is really important,” says Fisher, “Because it references the history America has in relationship to Black bodies.” 

In addition to choreographing the piece, she designed the costumes, which include simple raw cotton ball wreaths to crown the performer’s heads and spare, loose, coverings made with cotton-based fabrics.

 

Here, the Black female body is royal.  
 

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