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Aku Kadogo. VISIT. Spelman. 9.20-27.2023

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Today, I stopped by her office on the 4th floor of Cosby and sat with her for about 45 minutes. For the moment, we met at the door of the History Department the clock was running. So much to tell each other in so little time.

Aku Kadogo is Professor of Theatre and Performance at Spelman College and a very special person to me. I call her Auntie Aku affectionately for her warm, deep well of knowlege and a gift of tickling me and pointing me in the right direction at the same time.

This visit, we talked about her visiting my class next week and my class visiting her papers at the AUC Woodruff Library Archives; the Mendi + Keith Obadike talk at Emory (so upset I missed it); Diane McIntyre and scholarship; moving to Australia in 1978 for love; Carol Johnson and the Bangarra Dance Theatre; and the radicalism of Eleo Pomare.

We talked a bit about Ntozake Shange and her role in the original 1970s productions of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, but more about how the famous choreopoem is part of a larger story about how she has been part of different communities all over the world.

On September 25, 2023, Sis Aku visited my SDAN377 Class; Sexuality, Sexism, and Subversion at Spelman College. This class is full of badasssss women of Dance and I thought it would be a great idea if Sis. Aku could talk about her experience as a dance, a member of Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, as a director and producer of different works around the world. She spoke about dance and movement in Australia and her seminal work Ocre & Dust.

Here are a few photos from that visit.

Then on September 27th, we visited Aku Kadogo's papers at Atlanta University Center Archives. Tiffany Atwater introduced the class to the AUC archives and familiarized them with the process of doing research in the archive. It was a special treat to see the Aku Kadogo papers because they are currently unavailable for research because of the reconstruction going on in the department. Student researchers are seen engaging with the materials. All photos are provided by the students.

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