The Black Body in Performance

Tues 7 May 2019
7 – 8.30pm

£5 / £4

About the Event

A discussion about bravery, passion and the black body in performance with Topher Campbell and Bonnie Greer OBE - featuring a special screening of Campbell's raw and personal film FETISH.

Inspired by Jean Michel Basquiat, Black Lives Matter and afro-futurism, FETISH explores masculinity, violence, sexuality, vulnerability and power. Through the simple act of walking Topher gives a powerful performance evoking questions about the permission and transgression of the black male body in urban spaces.

FETISH is accompanied by an original soundtrack by 2014 Mercury Prize and 2018 Scottish Album of the Year Award winners Young Fathers. Please note that this film contains nudity. Event suitable for ages 18+


Rivington Place

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Topher Campbell is an artist who works in film, theatre and the written word

Bonnie Greer OBE is an American-British playwright, novelist and critic

About the SPEAKERS

Topher Campbell's 20+ year output spans broadcasting, theatre, performance, writing, experimental film and site specific work. His focus has been on sexuality, masculinity, race, human rights, memoir and climate change.

In 2005 he was awarded the Jerwood Directors Award and was nominated for the 2011 What’s On Stage Theatre Event of the Year Award. In 2017 he was Longlisted for the inaugural Spread the Word Life Writing Prize for his forthcoming memoir Battyman. 

In 2000 he co-founded rukus! Federation a Black Queer arts collective with photographer Ajamu X. Topher has been committed to preserving and collecting QTIPOC history and culture in the UK through groundbreaking projects and interventions. 

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This culminated in the rukus! Archive currently held in the London Metropolitan Archives. The rukus! Archive won the 2008 Landmark Archive Award. His films have appeared in Festivals worldwide including his first film The Homecoming a meditation on art masculinity and sexuality which features commentary by Stuart Hall.

Bonnie Greer OBE grew up on the South Side of Chicago, the eldest of seven children born to Ben – a Mississippi sharecropper, Chicago factory worker and D-Day veteran – and Willie Mae, who went to work at fifteen to support her family. Although she began writing plays at the age of nine, Bonnie initially set out on a legal career, the career of choice for a black girl coming of age in the Civil Rights movement. She decided to return to writing instead of pursuing the law and went on to study playwriting in Chicago under David Mamet and at the Actors Studio in New York with Elia Kazan.

Bonnie has been a regular contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review and Question Time. She was a panel member on the show that also featured Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party. Commenting after the recording she called it "probably the weirdest and most creepy experience of my life". The encounter formed the basis for her libretto for Errollyn Wallen's opera Yes (2011) commissioned by the Royal Opera House, Linbury Theatre.

Her plays have been produced on BBC Radio 3 & 4, BBC 2 and in the West End. She has won the Verity Bargate Award for Best New Play and has been shortlisted for the John Whiting Award. In 2010 Bonnie was named by the Observer as one of the 300 Public Intellectuals in the UK – the only female playwright – and was also awarded an OBE. She has been Deputy Chair of the British Museum, and has served on the boards of RADA, London Film School and Theatre Royal, Stratford East. Bonnie is currently Chancellor of Kingston University.

Accessibility at AUTOGRAPH

Everyone is welcome at Autograph. Our building Rivington Place is an accessible space with a step-free entrance at street level, and a lift to all floors. Unisex, accessible toilets are located on all floors.

Seating is on a first come first-seated basis at this event. If you would like to reserve seating to assist with hearing, visual or any other access needs, please contact us before your visit.

Carers receive a free ticket when they accompany the person they care for. Please contact us to book.

Download our Accessibility Guide for detailed access information about our venue and transport.

We are here to help. If you would like to discuss your visit, or have any questions, please contact us at or 020 7749 9200


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Autograph's events are popular, and often sell out. We cannot guarantee that tickets will be available on the door, and recommend booking a ticket in advance. If you need to cancel your ticket for any reason, you can receive a refund up to 24 hours before the start of the event. Concessions tickets are available for students, those on low income, and 65+. Seating is not reserved in advance, and is on a first-come first-seated basis. You do not need to bring your paper ticket to the event.


Tickets to this event can only be booked from: this webpage, on Eventbrite, via the Eventbrite ticketing plugin on Autograph's Facebook event, by phoning Autograph at 020 7729 9200, or by emailing  Tickets obtained unofficially or resold on Facebook and other social media may not be genuine.


Please note that photography and/or filming will take place at this event. Images from this event may be used by Autograph and external press for marketing and promotional use, including: printed and online publicity, social media, press releases, or other use.


Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

Images, from top: 1,3,4) Topher Campbell, FETISH, film still. 2) Entrance to Rivington Place. Photograph by Zoe Maxwell.