Born in Paris (France), Kitoko Diva lives and works in London (United Kingdom). After studying theatre performance, Kitoko Diva experimented with filmmaking in music, and graduated with a BFA in Art History & Archeology with a minor in Cinema. Her work has been screened at the Tate Modern for Southwark Untold Pempeople, and at the Artis Planetarium of Amsterdam for the 2020 IDFA Festival Doc Lab program.
Kitoko Diva’s hybrid practice is between moving images, installations and sounds creating absorbing performance and immersive video installations. She interacts with identity, heritage and social structure through a lens of surrealism. Her work challenges contemporary socio-political economic issues by building alternative landscapes and realities. She creates a series of socially engaged, inclusive cinematic shots, with dream-like symbolism traversing space and time to redefine what you think you know about yourself, the world and blackness.
About the artwork
In The Black Man in the Cosmos, Sun Ra lands on a new planet in outer space to seek an utopian refuge for the emancipation of the black man. The artist offers an experimental and poetical interstellar journey through the cosmos, addressing the identity crisis issues and traumas among European Afro-descendants. With Dreams with feathers, we are back in the 1750s. Many enslaved Africans fled to the bayous of Louisiana, where they encountered Native Americans who helped them hide from their masters. Ever since, they have gone by the name of Mardi Gras Indians, wearing the masks of Indians Native Americans as an homage, and adopting the local Native American culture and rituals. They organize in tribes across the city, and dress up with magical handmade costumes when it’s time for Mardi Gras season. Traditions and culture are transmitted religiously from generations to generations, until this day. What was once a social statement against racist repression and a show of gratitude, has become a festivity of creativity, freedom and a celebration of blackness.