BY ALLISON CONSIDINE

"...Gomela/to return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue, which has been in development for the past two years, will premiere in January 2017 and will begin touring in April 2017. The production will feature seven artists and the work of four designers. “Gomela,” a Bantu word, means “to go back to/to return.” Featuring award-winning poet Sunni Patterson, Gomela will highlight the vibrant and percussive movements and stories that breathe life into ancient forms (African dance and drumming) and new artistic expression (spoken word, hip-hop, jazz) that illuminate the connection between Africa, Haiti, and New Orleans.

Photo by Melisa Cardona

Photo by Melisa Cardona

At its core, the show focuses on gentrification, New Orleanians returning after Katrina, Black Lives Matter, and the beauty and resilience of black people, past and present. Similar to the Homecoming Project, the show addresses the threat of New Orleans culture, institutions, and general way of life going by the wayside in the name of progress, development, and rebuilding. Sunni Patterson, the lead artist in the project, was born and raised in New Orleans but was forced to move after Katrina due to rising costs. Her story is representative of the experience of so many New Orleanians. This piece aims to raise the issue of racial inequity in rebuilding, development, and gentrification as New Orleans becomes more and more white and affluent..."

Read the full article at American Theater Magazine