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The Black Circus of The
Republic of Bantu

Albert Ibokwe Khoza

Presented by New York Live Arts | Live Artery

photos 1+3: Sanele Thusi | photos 2+4: Teresa Castacane

“(With Khoza), you soon realize you’re in the presence of… a special, sacred magnetism.”

Armed with an operatic voice, fearless agility, a rigorous intellect, and the intensity of their physical presence, the “stunning” (The New York Times) South African performance artist Albert Ibokwe Khoza is possessed of an unmistakable gravitas. And yet, within living memory, Khoza might well have found themselves simply possessed as an exhibition in the human zoos that flourished in international fairs and circuses well into the 1950s and beyond. These so-called “ethnological exhibitions” made spectacles of martyrs such as Mbye Otabenga and Saartjie Baartman. With The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu, Khoza examines the indignity and pain of these bygone racist institutions and their modern counterparts alike, countering violent action with extremities of performative ritual. The Black Circus wields theater as a weapon and a salve, turning its gaze outward in service of healing the soul and reclaiming the body’s dignity through the power of confrontational art.


Thursday, January 11 @ 8 pm
Friday, January 12 @ 8 pm
Saturday, January 13 @ 8 pm
Run time: 60 minutes


New York Live Arts
219 W 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
(Between 7th & 8th Avenues)

Subway: 1 to 18th Street, 2/3, F, M, L and A/C/E to 14th Street

Live Arts’ entrances are located on the street level, as is the main entrance to the theater. Box Office staff is available for assistance at either the single revolving door or pair of push bar doors. The elevator provides access to theater seating at the front of the audience, administrative offices, and the studios. Studios and bathroom entrances have ADA push button swing doors.


Albert Ibokwe Khoza is an internationally acclaimed performance artist who continuously reveals and projects a state of mind of a loner individual who is a non-binary womanly man and a Sangoma (traditional healer). Through their sexuality and traditional practice, they express their thoughts by moving between different artistic mediums to outline social ills and what their divergent nature sees and interprets about the world they live in, critically questioning their surroundings, their leaders and life itself.