Luanda Carneiro Jacoel

Kalunga Unspoken - living archives in dialogue with a legacy in motion

Østfold University College, Norwgian Theatre Academy / Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

I am a black female dancer - performance artist from Brazil. My artistic research has a deep focus on the transatlantic trade of enslaved people and the Afro-Diaspora that resulted from it. The work unfolds the aesthetic expressions of Afro-Brazilian rituals and living traditional dances; through embodiment practices to search the possibilities that lie in the abstraction of codified dance forms. I understand the body as a body-home; as a body-memory. A living archive, which carries on my personal history and my cultural background; becoming a medium; a vehicle of my work as a performance artist.


In my latest works, I developed performance practices inspired by the symbologies of Kalunga. Kalunga is present in the dikenga dia Kôngo cosmogram. Kalunga means the sea, as well as the burial grounds.The artistic practice investigates relations between the symbolic universe which emerges from the cosmovision present in the cosmogram and informs the body of the performer that is exploring this material through movement practice bases.

The accumulated history of the Black Trans-Atlantic is a space where the Afro-diasporic body calls for and remembers what is lost. Through ritual performance practices the ancestral archive Kalunga is an entity of transitional aspect of belonging. Kalunga has been crossing me and unfolding my work as a performance artist. This research has condensed the performance practices: Kalunga Unspoken; Kalunga Entities; and Kalunga Extended. The artistic practices address interdisciplinary perspectives, co-creation among artists, displacement and nomadism in cultural materials and the transit of written texts and oral narratives in other media. The notion of ritual is practiced as an epistemological live archive to experience memory, archive, history, identity, time, and space in performance. It is an activation and evocation of memory and time. Memory as inheritance in the Afro-Diasporic body. Memory as agency. Ancestry as inheritance.

The notion of archive usually refers to a collection of documents, records that are preserved for historical, cultural, or legal purposes. Archives are essential for preserving and transmitting collective memory and cultural heritage, and they can provide valuable insights into the past. Archives can also be used to shape and construct narratives of history and identity. Together, memory, identity, and archive are important for understanding and interpreting the past, as well as shaping the present and the future.

At the moment I am in an ongoing collaboration at “Casa Sueli Carneiro”, in Brazil a black institution based on the activist and intellectual legacy of Sueli Carneiro (my mother) which is dedicated to welcoming black production, activism, reflections, critique and artistic expressions in a mission of expanding the visibility and scope of black activist – intellectual – political thinking in Brazil and beyond its borders in dialogue with other Afro-Diasporas. From this collaboration my mother's archive and legacy have been incorporated in my own practice, resulting in performative - actions, photo - performances and video - performances and culminating in this PHD project: “Kalunga Unspoken - living archives in dialogue with a legacy in motion”

Luanda Carneiro Jacoel is a performance artist working with the principles of ancestry, memory and temporality in the Afro - Diasporic body. The work crosses boundaries between dance; ritual; installation, video-performance. Her work has been presented internationally in performance venues, exhibitions, artistic residences, artistic talks and performance - lectures. She is currently a PhD fellow in performance and archival practices for recorded media at the Norwegian Theatre Academy. She has a Master in Fine Arts Performance at the Norwegian Theatre Academy (NTA); a Bachelor in Dance from Communication oPerforming Arts - PUC - SP (Brazil); certified as a Somatic Movement Practitioner at Somatic Movement Institute - SMI - (Netherlands) and is Co-founder of the former platform ACTS – laboratory for performance practices (Oslo). She has been artist resident at the Village des Artistes/ directed by Koffi KôKô in Ouidah, Benin (2019//2023). Artist talk at PRAKSIS - Arts and culture catalyst in Oslo, Norway (2023). Performances - Lectures at conferences: “RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2022” by the University of Newcastle, England, Panel: “Arts, heritage and performing politics”; “Home: Provoking Conversations on Place and Belonging” - University of Gloucestershire (2022), Panel: “Identity, Belonging and Subjectivity”; “Performance and Playfulness symposium” by York St John University and the Norwegian Theater Academy (2021). Exhibition// Gives-on-and-with: Decolonial moves of the transcultural at Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2021). The exhibition My Hair Loves BAD weather by Kiyoshi Yamamoto at Trøndelag Center for Contemporary Art, Trondheim, Norway (2021). Exhibition: Threshold(s) at CAMP / Center for Art on Migration Politics. Copenhagen, Denmark (2019-2020). Exhibition: Head, Hand, Eye by Hanni Kamaly. Curated by TrAP- Transnational Arts Production. Interkulturelt Museum. Oslo, Norway (2019); Artist resident at Dancegathering - Antidisciplinary Performance Lab/directed by Qudus Onikeku in Lagos, Nigeria (2018). Festival: “History Will Be Kind to Me for I Intend to Perform It” PALS, Performance Art Links - Fylkingen, Stockholm, Sweden (2018).



Artistic Research Forum

1st presentation