Nuna Livhaber is producing, directing and performing in a show ‘ I will tell you in a minute’ that will be performed at the cockpit theatre on November 10 – 11, 2019, immediately after the Black History Month.
The show is about a 2039 successful black woman, who travels black in time to meet her younger self and tell her that there’s hope as racism, xenophobia, homophobia and all bigotry have ceased to exist.
It explores the idea of Europe and European, what unites us and divides us. It also explores what is like to be black and part of the black diaspora.
Issues such as displacement, cultural loss and identity are present through the show,yet the black girl magic and dreams gives a balance of light energy and hopefulness.
What inspired you to produce the show?
When I started seeing the representation movement, I felt that a big part of being black in Europe wasn’t being covered and discussed with a certain depth. So, I decided to create a show and start exploring what is like to grow up in Europe being black.
What is it like ?
I supposed it changes from continent to continent and country by country. But for me, it’s the strength of our ancestor combined with the cultural enrichment of the places where we grew up in.
Africa is the mother continent, yet I never lived there, but it will always be part of me by the legacy I carry from my ancestors. Portugal is my country. I lived all my life there and I believed I enrich my country with my diverse culture and I became more diverse enriched by growing up in Portugal.
How does back girl magic give a balance of light and hopefulness in the show?
There’s no doubt that there’s trauma to grow up in countries that colonized nations where your ancestors come from. Trauma of growing up and not seeing yourself represented and being supposedly less than others because of your skin color.
In this hardship we can find hope by the simple fact that people keep finding ways to be happy, to be joyful and thrive. Being a strong black woman in a white supremacy world is a rebellion to the system.
Every time a sister rises, all sisters rise. For me that is magic. There’s also several comic moments, black people always find a way to bring jokes into a room, even when filled with pain.
What informed your ideas for this show?
One of the stories shared in the show is when a 13-year-old boy I liked said he wouldn’t date me (even though he liked me) because I was black.
For me, a young girl surrounded by white girls, seeing white girls on TV and learning that the white standards are the beautiful standards, that made a massive impact on self-love.
The constant phrase “You’re so beautiful for a black girl” for a black girl… this phrase implies that being a black girl is being less than others and this energy of abusive “love” if not understood can be accepted as truth.
I can’t live a life of pretending everything is alright, pretending that there’s no racism in Portugal or the rest of countries with minorities.
I can’t keep listening to micro racist comments and pretend they are just jokes so I won’t cause problems. I wasn’t born to live such life. I was born to fight for what I believe it’s right and for the right to live my best life.
Would you like us to know anything else about you?
I have had so many opportunities scratched from me because I’m black and emigrant, I was told from day one I wouldn’t make it. For the longest time I tried to change whatever I could so I would be suitable, no more, there are so many narratives that need to be told.
I’m forever grateful for those truly fighting for diversity and inclusion in this and others industries but there’s a growing use of the movement as a commercial campaign by big corporates.
We must distinguish profit strategies to celebration and equal opportunities. We must celebrate diversity every day in our lives. I couldn’t find a story that represented me, so I created one.