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mother tongues presents TIERED TONGUE by SAMRA MAYANJA, a tryptic process inviting collective reflection, breaking and remaking of the knowledge produced in her performance BAD UGANDAN


TIERED TONGUE takes its impetus from Samra’s eponymous poem written in 2015, exploring the relationship between the first languages spoken by her mother and herself (Lusoga and English respective), the recent historic power dynamic between the two languages and how this manifests in their relationship.

Samra will be hosting two workshops, “Black Music, Repetition and the Ecstatic” at DIY Space For London on the 13th of October and “Forging Gestures?” at Walk Gallery, Leeds on the 14th of December and a final performance in January.


Tiered Tongue: Black Music, Repetition and the Ecstatic
Performance and Listening Party
13th October 2019, 12 - 3pm, DIY Space for London



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The sentiment that our experience is fixed, unchangeable and constrained by the everyday is broken in moments when we are elevated, lifted or in a state of ecstasy. This ecstatic experience can be induced by repetitive sounds, producing sound and/or movements collectively - transporting us out and over the day to day.

Please join us for the first workshop BLACK MUSIC, REPETITION AND THE ECSTATIC, where Samra will perform her piece BAD UGANDAN followed by a listening party, with a a selection of music from Samra's research. The listening party is a space for people to collectively listen to music and reflect on memories and thoughts. Feel free to also contribute by adding link(s) to your chosen music originated from the culture of the African diaspora* here.

*This is music of people from anywhere in the world who identify as black and/or who’s heritage, musical tradition and style can be connected to black cultures.


Tiered Tongue: Forging Gestures?
Performance workshop
November date tbc, Leeds



The individual or collective loss of a language can be seen as equivocal to burning down a library, signifying the loss of an accent, idioms, proverbs, different modes of thought and expression. For some people in the diaspora their languages beyond english, are partial, fragmented, assisted and/or mediated. We’ll collectively explore the contest between assimilation into the dominant culture, imitation of desired culture and the authentic self centering language (spoken and gestural/movement.

Samra Mayanja will facilitate a space for discussion, movement and performance. We will use our bodies to investigate ways that we assimilate, imitate and get closer to ourselves in our lives. We invite you to bring images/videos/objects/memories that you feel are relevant.

We welcome anyone interested in these themes, feel free to contact Samra (samramayanja@gmail.com) if you have any questions.

This event will take place in November 2019 at a venue tbc in Leeds Please wear clothes that you are happy to move in and bring an image/video/object/memory that you feel relates to the themes of assimilation, imitation and/or authenticity.