d'bi.young anitafrika, affectionately know as d'bi. is an internationally celebrated Jamaican dubpoet, monodramatist and educator whose socially-conscious performance art works have made an indelible mark upon the global psyche. After moving from Kingston Jamaica in 1993, she exploded onto the Canadian theatre scene in 2001 as the unbelievable storyteller in 'da kink in my hair' which played at London’s Hackney Empire Theatre in 2006 and has toured globally.
Since then d'bi. has written 8 plays: solitary, yagayah (published), androgyne (excerpt published), she, domestic and the sankofa trilogy, featuring the award winning monodramas blood.claat, benu, and word! sound! powah! Her groundbreaking Biomyth Sorplusi Method assists artists worldwide with developing their personal integrity in art-making and is being practiced in over 8 countries. Ms. young’s work has been produced at Canadian theatres: Passe Muraille, Buddies in Bad Times, GCTC, Firehall and internationally at London’s Free Word Centre, Barcelona’s CCCB, Havana’s Teatro Nacional, Cape Town’s City Hall, India's Counter Culture, Belfast's Metropolitan Arts Centre, Kingston Jamaica's Edna Manley College and Barbados’s Queen’s Park.
She has authored two collections of poetry (art on black and rivers and other blackness between us), produced 2 dubpoetry albums (wombanifesto and 333) and is anthologized in over 40 publications worldwide.
young is the recipient of 2 Dora Awards 2006, the Toronto Mayor’s Arts Council Award 2007, the KM Hunter Theatre Award 2010, the Canadian Women’s Resiliency Award 2011 and The Canadian Poet of Honor Award 2011. Her trilogy, Sankofa is being published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2012. She was most recently featured in the CBC documentary Two Worlds One Love: Jamaican Success Stories in Canada and the coffee table book When Ackee Meets Codfish: Jamaicans in Canada, both celebrating Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence. Having recently returned from a tour of India, d'bi. is currently in Jamaica working with Edna Manley College's 4th year drama students on biomyth monodrama, and is also penning a new album.
Her latest projects include founding the Jamaica Radical Art Collective aka jamRAC, becoming an international art ambassador for Canada's Stephen Lewis foundation, and embarking on her 3rd global tour of Southern Africa, India, Europe, North America and the Caribbean.
d'bi artist statement: I believe that being an artist comes with numerous responsibilities; one of which is being able to be held accountable for the work I produce. Coming from a dub poetic tradition – where you learn that art exists to reflect the socio-economic/cultural realities of the people witnessing art – I create with a specific social conscience and awareness in mind. My work explores themes of ethnicity, equality, cultural hybridity, social taboos, racism, sexism, homophobia, immigration and a host of other social justice issues. The foundation for this exploration is love. Coming from a fierce love, I believe that the art I create ultimately questions, answers, heals, and provides a space for people to get to know/love themselves and the society, responsibly. One aspect of my accountability is taking the work I create to younger members of our community in primary and secondary schools. Young people need rigorous activities geared towards their examination of their relationship to the society they live in. Consistent participation in art creation that reflects them is one such critical activity. In my workshops with young people I take note of issues around safety, and the herstorical/cultural realities of the students; paying close attention to providing a holistic, flexible and hands on approach, to the work that we do. -d’bi.young anitafrika
www.dbi333.com (personal website) www.yemoya.org (international artist residency) www.anitafrika.com (theatre company) www.sorplusimethod.com (personal/professional development theory) www.jamrac.wordpress.com (Jamaica radical arts collective)