Blood Story, Bone Memory, Skin Legacy: A Ritual in Corporealities

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MWC-KeyJune 6, 2014
Blood Story, Bone Memory, Skin Legacy:
A Ritual in Corpo-realities
Mangos with Chili
Brava Theater

Tickets: $10 – $20
Brown Paper Tickets Link:

Queer, trans and two-spirit, black, indigenous and people of color bodies are vessels of knowledge holding oceans of sacred and profane memory. Stories of surviving the Atlantic slave trade, Indigenous removal, resisting colony, medical experimentation. Legacies of love making, death-defying transformations made on $20 and a hairpin, creating new family, making new origin stories, forging new spiritualities, feeding new ghosts, and reclaiming body when all seemed lost.

In Blood Story, Bone Memory, Skin Legacy, 8 artists explore the queering of ancestral memory, navigating these living moments mapped in queer blood and bones. Bearing witness to the stories held in our queer bodily experience, we heal and transform through the power of embodied truth.


MWC-SoliRoseSoliRose, named after our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, seeks to recombine a diversity of traditional musical styles in a way that organically reflects their actual crossings, in both the old world and the new. With explicit influences from Lebanon/the Levant, Turkey, African America (South and North), North and West Africa, and Flamenco, SoliRose crosses borders organically. We see music as a medium to create and maintain the cultural shifts that will lay the groundwork for the next generations, and we situate ourselves as gifted and burdened with these sounds that want to move themselves and move us–up, down, and in–to remember the future during what Celia Herrera Rodriguez has called “the chaos of our times.” We perform on stage and off for seasonal and communal rituals, marriages/partnerships, births, passings, and rites of passage.

MWC-SorayaSoraya Jean-Louis McElroy: “I’m not a formally trained artist – my experiences, ideas, dreams for my people and Afro-Caribbean-ness have given me valuable skills to explore and express what’s in my heart. That’s the best training to me: just loving and embracing my whole black womyn self and presenting my truth(s) to the world.”

Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy is a Haitian born, New York and Brooklyn raised mixed media artist currently living and loving in New Orleans.  Her love of black womyn and families, nature, Afrofuturism, comics/graphic novels and the African Diaspora are central themes in her work.  Her creative process seeks to explore the complexities and/or simplicities of: identity, womanism, motherhood, racism, Eros, spirituality, cosmology, ancestral alchemy and beauty.  Soraya’s work as an organizer, mentor, counselor, doula and medical anthropologist focusing on women’s health and African folklore strengthen her commitment to resisting oppression and facilitating healing through art activism.

Soraya has participated in several group exhibits in various New Orleans cultural institutions, such as the McKenna Museum of African American Art, The JuJu Bag, Antenna Gallery, The Jazz and Heritage Gallery and a solo show at Café Rose Nicaud. Her works have been used in zines, book covers, promotional materials and most recently published in the anthology “Near Kin: Words & Art Inspired by Octavia E. Butler.”  She was also the makeup and costume designer for Monica McIntyre’s album It Soon Come. She is consistently creating new work and was’s featured artist in February, 2013.

MWC-AskariAskari González es una bruja, a magical gurl dropout, a wannabe xingona, a genderescent divinity, y a political trans woman of color. She is a poet, a mixed media artist, and the author of Trauma Queen (available here: She aspires to create films centered on queer and trans people of color. Her hobbies include online shopping, copious amounts of anime marathons, and unraveling her inner trauma healer. Askari was a featured artist on Mangos With Chili’s 2014 tour.

MWC-IndiraIndira Allegra is a poet and artist whose work explores intimacy, trauma, intertextuality and endurance through performance, video works and hand-woven textiles. A 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow and Voices at VONA Alum, she has contributed works to 25 for 25: An Anthology of Works by 25 Outstanding Contemporary LGTB Authors, Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art and Thought, Dear Sister: Letters From Survivors of Sexual Violence, Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two Spirit Literature and African Voices Magazine among others.

In 2013, she was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 for Poetry of Gold and Angels, a segment on poetry in the San Francisco Bay Area. Indira’s experimental videopoems Blue Covers and Weep Willow: The Blues for Lady Day have screened at film festivals such as MIX NYC, Perlen Hannover LGBT Festival, Visible Verse Festival and Fusion. In the Bay Area, Indira has performed with Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance, Mangos with Chili, Peacock Rebellion and The Yellow House Project. Her textile works have shown at the Alter Space Gallery, Oliver Art Center and College Avenue Gallery. She is currently completing her first collection of poems entitled Indigo Season.

MWC-CherryMangos With Chili Co-Founder Ms. Cherry Galette is a movement artist, choreographer, and producer who has earned recognition for creating movement narratives exploring race, power, empire, migration, queer bodies in diaspora, and for presenting genre pushing work based in sultry, sacred, and profane fusions of traditional dance forms and song with queer story, burlesque and cabaret. Cherry’s performance is a collision – a crossroads of era, tradition, and place – evoking elements of the cosmopolitan cabarets of the golden age of Middle Eastern and Latin American dance, the legacy of movement passed down in women’s kitchens and salons, and the energy, joy, and enthusiasm of collective street dance.

She has captivated, delighted, roused and stunned audiences on stages across the Americas from La Habana to Montreal, is proud to have been an Oakland Tribune Timeout covergirl, and has also been featured in Oakland Local, Bitch, Make/Shift, San Francisco Bay Guardian, the SF Chronicle, and other independent media across the US. Cherry was raised by a family of legendary music makers, performers and innovators who centered song and dance as tools for transmitting hope, history, revolt, and the ability transform and lift heavy hearts. She is proud to continue her family’s work by giving audiences quality dance and burlesque performance based in roots of resistance, tradition, and inherited movement and musical legacy. Cherry’s work is grounded in the transformative power of story to make change, creating accessible, community oriented theater and performance, and putting movement and music back in the bodies of the people through creating a dance movement that encompasses all experiences, ages, genders, and bodies.