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Meloe Gennai | Residency

South Africa | Multi-Disciplinary

February & July 2020 — Multi-Disciplinary

Meloe Gennai

Is one of the artists awarded a 2020 Pro Helvetia Studio Residency and will be on residency in Cape Town in February and July 2020.

View artist website

Meloe Gennai is a Geneva-based poet, performer, actor and advocate for minority rights. Racially ambivalent and gender non-conforming trans non-binary, they are interested in understanding the dynamics and impact of social labels on people’s lives and deconstructing prescriptive knowledge and stereotypes. They support and are active in the movement to create more space and representation for people of colour, differently abled and the LGTBI+ community in the arts in Europe. Their poems are written in English, German and French and address themes of gender, relationships, blackness, queerness, discrimination and safe spaces. They are a laureate of the poetry Biennal Robert Goffin (Belgium 2012) and have performed in Switzerland, Austria France, Madagascar as well as in Berlin, Bruxelles, Lissabon, Madrid, Warsaw. Meloe published a book of poems in October 2017 and was recently awarded a writing grant by the city of Geneva for their first novel: “The evolution of love” (2018-2020).

For their residency in South Africa, which will be split into to parts, Meloe aims to connect, exchange and collaborate with other poets of mixed heritage to explore different histories and identities. Their research will potentially inform later performance and literary projects. The questions Meloe will bring into the residency revolve around “How the history of our families meets the bigger picture of the construction of the ‘race’ myth. What is our understanding of belonging? How much time and space do we need to determine ourselves? And is our self-determination enough to build a community? Do we need each other? Are we a bridge between people or are we our own land?”