AZZAH SULTAN (she/her)
Azzah Sultan’s body of work debunks cultural myths created by society and explores stigmas related to her identity. She aims to give authority to herself in her work by being the performer, the author, and the subject. Sultan plays on the idea of the self by exploring her relationship with her parents, language, and her Malaysian nationality. Being an immigrant in a country can shape and form the way you live your life; you struggle to identify whether or not you are a part of your environment or an outsider. Traditional garments, passing down of familial lineage and practices are what she is currently interested in exploring her artistic practice.
CATHERINE CHEN (They/Them)
Catherine Chen is a multidiscplinary poet and performer of Taiwanese heritage. Their practice activates a kind of architectural writing which articulates the ways they inhabit rituals of mourning, desire, and Asian American identity making. They’re interested in mundane living, ancestral altars, and political histories of grief. Through poetry, performance, and video, their work explores the question: How does one narrativize a queer history and futurity built from everyday material sites?
ZOHRA BENZERGA (she/her)
Zohra Benzerga is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and scholar. Her work centers on colonial legacies within current discourses and policies, and the resistance of bodies/landscapes to visualization. She is particularly interested in exploring illegibility as a form of defiance. Her practice has brought her to Eswatini, South Africa, Senegal, and France. Benzerga holds a BFA from New York University and an MA from Columbia University’s Committee on Global Thought.
NIA FARRELL (she/her)
Nia Farrell is a creator, performer, and Mundane Afrofuturist who focuses on developing new work that celebrates the dreams and stories of Black communities. Her favorite artistic spaces are community-conscious and community-driven as they are opportunities to explore identity and belonging. Recent credits include Dreams in Black Major (creator; Theatertreffen Stückemarkt 2021, Ars Nova ANT Fest 2019). Nia is a finalist for SPACE on Ryder Farm’s Creative Residency 2020 and is a member of the 2019-21 Soho Rep Writer / Director Lab where she and her artistic soulmate, Talia Paulette Oliveras, are developing their sophomore project, A Map To Nowhere (things are). When Nia’s not dreaming and scheming new Afro-futures, she is the Development Associate for Nine Muses Entertainment, founded by Bryce Dallas Howard, and the Interactive Social Media Manager for National Black Theatre. Learn more at niafarrell.com
HARSHINI KARUNARATNE (she/her)
Harshini J. Karunaratne is a Sri Lankan-Peruvian photographer and projection designer currently based in Abu Dhabi. She is passionate about the intersection of film and theater, having graduated in Film & New Media and Theater from New York University Abu Dhabi in 2018. For thesis, Harshini created a projection-based performance titled “Afterlife: an audiovisual performance,” which attempted to reimagine the magic lantern phantasmagoria shows of the 18th century using contemporary VJ techniques. Her research focused on the ways in which immersive performances can be created that are as cinematic as they are theatrical, to create a performance that reimagined the story of Hades and the Underworld through Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Harshini has had her work shown in Italy, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, as well as at FILE Festival in Brazil and at Burning Man in the United States. She is constantly experimenting with new forms and mediums, but behind every exploration is a passion for performance. Whether it is web design or illustration, performance and the involvement of the audience are at the core of her practice. Learn more at harshinijk.com
MENGXI ALTHEA RAO (she/her)
Althea Rao is a multiform conceptual artist with a social practice. Her works focus on revealing institutionalized disempowerment, facilitating radical community healing, and designing systems for intrinsic accountability. Her works exist as codes of conduct, performative interventions, multimedia installations and their documentation. She performs absurd interpretations of ethical values and negotiates idealism within a fully diverse society, while knowingly exhibits a willingness to count on human agency to see change for the better. Rao is currently an Engaging Artist Fellow at More Art and a recipient of the MAP Fund. She was an artist-in-residence at Artspace New Haven, a Fellow of Flaherty Film Seminar, and a Social Impact Fellow at Halcyon Arts Lab. Rao has lived and worked in China, Japan and the US. She holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and a BA in Journalism from Fudan University. Learn more at altheamrao.myportfolio.com.
Project: El Otro Lado Del Destino
A supernatural play about a family of espiritistas navigating old magic in contemporary life.
CINTHIA CHEN (she/her)
Project: Waters of Oblivion
An exploration of memory through the figure of Meng Po, the Lady of Forgetfulness in Chinese mythology. She feeds souls a special brew of 迷魂湯 (’waters of oblivion’) to make them forget their previous lives before their next reincarnation.
JUDE ĀTMAN (he/they)
Project: untitled exploration of cancel culture and healing
Cancel culture is used as an inter-community weapon of exile, encouraging binary thinking. We become preoccupied with what kind of people we are; whether we are “good” or “bad” people. How can we imagine beyond the binary?
The following schedule is subject to change based on participant needs and organizational capacity but reflects the overall time commitment required to participate in the Hybrid Arts Lab.
After submitting your application, you will be required to email one attached copy of the following to [email protected]
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