Leeds based performance artist Selina Thompson has brought her award-winning monologue Salt to the BBC for Black History Month. Retracing a journey made by a cargo ship during the transatlantic slave trade, Thompson explores grief, trauma, and the legacy of colonialism in a deeply personal account. As her work makes an impact on screen, what more is there to know about the artist?
What Are Some Of Thompson’s Career Highlights?
In 2012 Thompson set up her own company which, according to its website, creates “theatre shows, installations, workshop plans and radio work for pubs, clubs, shopping centres and performance spaces across the UK and the world.” In 2016, Thompson created her show Salt, which tours four continents in four years and won three awards. A TimeOut review called the show “fantastic, a calmly ferocious, almost forensic dissection of the daily emotional toll of being a young black woman in this country.”
In an interview with The Guardian, about the show Thompson explained the show’s aims, “It’s knackering, but I want to show how exhausting carrying history can be — that’s why I’m taking these great big rocks and, by the end of the show, turning them to grains.”
Salt is by no means the only performance work Thompson does in her company, she collaborates with other creatives on shows exploring “the radical futures for democracy in the wake of the Suffragettes” and musicals about Hip Hop and teenage girls. Her company’s latest project Immersion, launched in Spring 2021 in collaboration with Artsadmin, explores “strategies for pleasure, care and wellbeing in climate activism.”
Can I See Selina Thompson Perform?
Thompson has created a work entitled Race Cards for Ipswich Art Gallery, which is open to visitors from October 28-31, 2021. The interactive installation reflects the artist’s evolving understanding of race and asks pressing questions of its audience.
Is Selina Thompson On Social Media?
You can follow Thompson’s company STLtd on Twitter and Instagram. It’s not always Selina posting but, when she does, she ends posts with her name. You can keep up with the latest news on her performances there.
Watch Salt on BBC iPlayer now.