Ep. 28: Valeria Luiselli; Creative Growth Arts; KOKOKO!
Stance speaks with Valeria Luiselli about her new novel, Lost Children Archive. She is an acclaimed writer of both fiction and non-fiction, winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award. Born in Mexico City, she has lived in the United States, Costa Rica, South Korea, South Africa, India and across Europe.
The “teasingly autobiographical” novel which has been longlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction and centres around a New York family setting out on a road trip to the Apacheria, the regions of the US which used to be Mexico and inhabited by the Apache people. At the same time, thousands of children are travelling north to the US border from Central America and Mexico. Stance speaks with Valeria about her life and how this has influenced her writing and storytelling on a personal and political level.
Stance explores part of the disability movement within the arts in California. Historically, disabled voices have often been relegated to the sidelines, however in the East Bay, this movement has steadily grown in recognition since the 70s and remains an important part of the area’s social fabric.
Stance speaks with innovative voices such as Leroy F Moore Jr, founder of Krip Hop Nation, a movement that addresses ableism and discrimination against disabled artists in the hip-hop music industry. As well as visiting Creative Growth, an institution which supports artists with disabilities to be recognised in their own right. Some of their artists include Dan Miller and Dwight Mackintosh’s work will be featured at Frieze New York 2019.
We are in conversation with KOKOKO! - a band that beautifully mixes homemade instruments and electronics to create an exciting new sound. Born in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, KOKOKO! formed organically after a jam session ended in a block party. The 5-piece-band consists of Love Amundala Lokombe, Bom’s Liteli Bomolo, Dido Lokato Oweke, débruit and Makara Bianko aka The Lingwala Devil.
Stance speaks with Liteli Bomolo, débruit and Makara Bianko, three members of this ingenious collaboration, which has been hailed as creating a new music scene that is original and radical against a backdrop of political instability. We find out more about how they all met, their creative process and what comes next.
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This episode is supported by Royal Court Theatre. Their new production White Pearl is a dark comedy by playwright Anchuli Felicia King. In Singapore, Clearday™ has gone from a start-up to an international cosmetics brand in less than a year. But when the company’s latest whitening cream advert is leaked, the video goes viral globally for all the wrong reasons.
Be sure to check out White Pearl playing at the Royal Court Theatre in London from 10 May for five weeks only. As an exclusive offer for our listeners, you can get £5 off Top Price tickets** with promo code STANCE at https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/whitepearl/.
**Get £5 off for White Pearl on all ticket bands, except Band E. Valid on all performances except Mondays. Book by 24 May.
Stance Cultural Shout-outs:
Audio - Podcasts & Radio
Council Estate in Culture - Free Thinking: BBC Radio 3
Thinking Allowed: Corridors - BBC Radio 4
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
The Famished Road - Ben Okri
Lowborn - Kerry Hudson
Film & TV
Looking for Oum Kulthum: A Film by Shirin Neshat
Julieta - A Film by Pedro Almodóvar
Amazing Grace - Aretha Franklin Concert Film
You Need Love - Ebo Taylor & Uhuru Yenzu
The Jungle - The Curran, San Francisco
Smack That - A Conversation - Rhiannon Faith
Cover Photo: KOKOKO!