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Joy Mariama Smith

A native Philadelphian currently based in Amsterdam, Joy Mariama Smith’s work primarily addresses the conundrum of projected identities in various contexts. A sub-theme, or ongoing question in their work is: What is the interplay between the body and its physical environment? Rooted in socially engaged art practice, they are a performance/installation/movement artist, activist, facilitator, curator and architectural designer. They have a strong improvisational practice spanning 20 years. When they choose to teach, they actively try to uphold inclusive spaces. Consent and agency are an integral part of their ongoing praxis.

They studied at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem; the NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego; L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris; and Oberlin College in Ohio. Their work has been performed internationally, including at If I Can’t Dance Edition VI – Event and Duration, Amsterdam; SoLow Festival, Philadelphia; Freedom of Movement, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Ponderosa Movement & Discovery in Stolzenhagen, Germany. Currently, they teach at the School for New Dance Development (SNDO) in Amsterdam and was a BAK fellow 2019-2020.

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