Projecten/ performances

The Unreliable Archives (working title)

Ongoing performance-based research project:

The sound part of the presentation of my research in Januari 2020:

Audre Lorde says: “It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.” (Lorde, 1979). I am interested in how we can build new webbed worlds constructed of affinity and difference (Lorde, 1996, Haraway, 1991). Where what you do is more important than who you are and difference is a strength.

The practice of dissensus in daily world building interactions between people, materials, environments is essential but not straightforward. Dissensus as a practice is an active search for ways of seeing-thinking-doing that spark creative interactions, generate meaning and build structures flexible enough to sustain all life. We create each other in these ongoing interactions. They are neither linear in movement or time, but webbed and multiple.

As someone racialised as white, an expatriate moving from country to country as a child, in a world based on privileges I have access to, my artistic practice is a series of attempts to actively understand and dismantle what anthropologist Ann Laura Stoler calls ‘Colonial Aphasia’. What is happening when a person racialised as white attempts to do antiracism and anticolonialism? How does the “occlusion from view” and “difficulty in generating a vocabulary” that speaks to the “disparate violence” behind these privileges impact on my interactions, and artistic practice (Stoler, 2011)? How to actively search for other ways of seeing-thinking-doing? To seek a fragmented, partial view, one of many voices without dominance or without paralysing shame or ‘fragility’ is to be able to participate in worldbuilding from a position of affinity and dissensus. Can we see the humour, transformations, joys and frictions that arise from these interactions as a motor for change?

Since 2016, I have been researching inherited personal and colonial histories. With a grant from the Flemish Government, I travelled to South Africa and conducted interviews. A subsequent residency in Lapland (Swedish/Finnish border), found me doing field recordings in the forest. This different temporality became a way to slow down and see differently. I began paying special attention to Mosses and Lichens. Low to the ground, varied, whispering and brightly coloured, I caught some of their resonances, began reading about them and we are now starting an in-depth conversation.

Currently I am engaged in performance-based research on how mosses could act as a catalyst and/ or mediator (Latour, 2000) in interactions. I am researching how performative, sensory interactions between material, artefacts, bodies and voices in a shared space/installation can create friction, humour, joy and enable transformations in each other’s meaning. How and in what ways do they practice dissensus when they rub-up against each other? What happens next? Can we become material and see through their eyes? Will reframing, reconstruction or perspective shifts occur to counter ‘Colonial Aphasia? How do these interactions build potential worlds? What can mosses tell us about how perspective shifts, transformations occur and how dissensus can be a strategy to build worlds?

 Migrating Dialogues

Migrating Dialogues #3 Ladies’ Choice

I am talking to my mother about drawing lines in the sand. We dance, sing and ask questions to the sea. Why do you need to shake your shoes? We learn new languages, unpack boxes, dig up memories and blind spots. How do we map our migrations, define our boundaries? Maybe we are not always kind, but learning to put our foot down is courage enough.

The year we move to Australia, I disappear inside myself, I put up my screen saver and tug my outside borders in. I am no longer the contours of my own body, no longer sun on arm and leg, on scalp and spine, tumbling in the playground, on the swings, hanging from the climbing frame. I draw a boundary around my intestines, my soft belly, my bowels, my heart. By the time I am 12 and puberty hits, I am sure of one thing. I am not my mother.

Migrating Dialogues #2 Spaghetti Junction

Spaghetti Junction is about my time as a student in London and my arrival in Belgium. In the Queerkaffee in a squat in Ghent, I meet Lola, an elusive opera singer. Lola and I are two British women who somehow find ourselves in Belgium. Roughly the same age and social class, our lives are like Spaghetti Junction: crossing paths, intersecting and departing. We are both so called ‘expats’. But what does that actually mean?

In September 1998, Lola and I both leave the UK for Belgium. Why not, I can always go back if it doesn’t work out. I’ll see how it goes. On the 22nd of September 1998, Samira Adamu is murdered by the two policemen charged with her forced deportation. A third films everything.

Migrating Dialogues #1 Inheriting the Empire

In Inheriting the Empire I am having an ongoing a conversation with my dad about my childhood in South-Africa, the UK and Ohio. About apartheid, boarding schools and terrorism. About spiders, sick bags and hand grenades. About shame, anger and silence.

It is the 6 September 1970. My mum and dad are flying for the first time in their lives. It won’t be their last time.
Everything is new, exciting, strange. My dad is 22, my mum has just turned 23. They are newlyweds but this is not their honeymoon.
They are emigrating.
The 6th of September 1970 is ‘Skyjack Sunday’.


Performance: Rona Kennedy
Concept and text: Rona Kennedy, based on interviews with William Kennedy (#1), Ademilola Oduwole (#2) and Audrey Kennedy (#3)
Concept, sound design, editing: Fabián Espinosa-Díaz
Concept and dramaturgy: Helena Elshout

Past projects

‘Rona Inviteert’ 
Een buurt project rond humor en cabaret van de Vieze Gasten en Rona Kennedy
bij de Vieze Gasten
09/237 04 07

  • Foto - Fixatief
  • Photo-Sofie Verhalle

“…Rona Kennedy was ons eerder al aangeraden door vrienden. Haar Weight Watchers The Musical in theater Bij de Vieze Gasten hadden we toen gemist. De Schots-Gentse cabaretière (uit Ledeberg!) bracht een charmerende en meeslepende collage van kinder- en jeugddromen over ballet, beroemd zijn, witte prinsen en prinsessen. De vlekjes op de kinderziel (een afwezige vader, een bazige moeder, de strijd tegen overgewicht) wist Rona uit met een nagenoeg ongebreidelde fantasie én een fijn gevoel voor humor. Warm!…Kortom. professioneel bezige cabaret-madammen van eigen bodem. Ik kijk al uit naar hun volgende producties”

L-salon op 25 juni
“Les Filles du bord de mer”

Een cabaret avond vol vrouwelijk talent – ik praat alles aan elkaar – allen daar heen!!/event.php?eid=145995685473280

“Gloriehol” & “Weightwatchers the musical” op de Gentsefeesten
18 & 19 juli
kelderzaal, Onderstraat
Alle reservaties via:

andere bookingsvragen ronajkennedy(at)gmail(dot)com

Annelies De Nil: “Gloriehol”
Rona Kennedy: “Weightwatchers the musical”

Alles wat leuk is, is leuker met twee, dachten Rona en Annelies.
Ze voegden het woord bij de daad en smeedden een plan: ze brengen jullie elk hun eigen show op éénzelfde avond.
Deze twee straffe en verdacht polyvalente madammen trakteren u op een scherpe en ontroerende avond, vol vertellingen, cabaret en humor. De ene danst het Zwanemeer, houd van haar ledematen en is een zeer goede zwemmer. De andere probeert krampagtig bleitingen te voorkomen bij haar ontboezemingen over haar diepste gevoelens.
Twee optredens voor de prijs van een.

Misschien heb je ooit bRaSs (the big Rona and Sigrid show) gezien.

‘Cabaret met ballen’

My Inner Child

lyrics and music by Rona Kennedy

My inner child is playing with matches,

she like sharp knives and super glue.

My inner child knows how to make bombs,

out of semtex and wires, out of petrol and old tyres,

my inner child.

Do you want, do you want, ah ah

Do you want, do you want, ah ah

Do you want to meet my inner me?

My inner child sets fire to houses,

then she stands and watches them burn.

My inner child isn’t scared of violence.

Fire is her friend, Its a means to an end,

My inner child.

Do you want, do you want, ah ah

Do you want, do you want, ah ah

Do you want to meet my inner me?

My inner child has secret places,

Where she hides her sweets and plants her seeds.

My inner child grows dangerous ideas,

where its dark and its wet, where no one can pet

my inner child

Do you want, do you want, ah ah

Do you want, do you want, ah ah

Do you want to meet my inner me?

Don’t be scared shes still in therapy

well my inner child, she’s kind of wild

I think shes coming out to play

and she always gets her way

Do you want to meet my inner me!

text & Music Rona Kennedy

1 Response to Projecten/ performances

  1. martine dewilde says:

    Hallo, ,
    ik heb ‘Rona inviteert’ gemist , spijtig,
    is er enige kans dat dit of een ander project rond humor en cabaret nog eens doorgaat bij de ‘vieze gasten’
    ik sta te springen om mee te doen , kan dat dit jaar 2017 ?

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