Postgraduate Studies Fund for D'bi

Good evening my dear family, friends and the villages that have raised me. I hope you are happy, healthy and inspired. It's been a long time communicating with you. 25 years infact since I moved from the garrison town of Maxfield Avenue Kingston 13 to Toronto Canada at 15 years old and you have played such a crucial part in who I have grown to be and in who I am still still becoming.

Over the 25 years I have created poetry, theatre, and educational arts programs to challenge the absence of training spaces for Black, queer and POC artists. As a student of Toronto's Fresh Arts Program, I have truly been raised by entire villages of people and you know who you are. And I have used my talents, skills, accolades, finances and public attention to pour energy directly back into my communities. This is what I was taught to do as a responsible human being
and I love doing it :)

The Watah Theatre
Anitafrika Retreat Centre

D'bi & The 333 Afro-Dub-Fusion Band
D'bi Young Anitafrika Website
Books, Cds and Plays by d'bi.young anitafrika
Spolrusie Publishing - BIQTPOC Micro Press
Anitafrika Method Research Project with Women's College Hospital in Toronto Canada

Total $75,000 CAD To Be Raised
The Breakdown - One Year Masters Program
$10,000 Food
$30,000 Tuition
$24,000 Housing
$2000 Ground Transportation
$3000 Airfare for three Return Trips
$6000 Housing-related costs (gas, internet, toiletries, personal products)

Winner of the KM Hunter Theatre Award 2010

You have supported me through it all; infact it would none of it would have been possible without your support. You supported my first ambitious project, Anitafrika Dub Theatre where I taught tuition-free year-long professional theatre residencies to artists such as Amanda Parris, Kim Katrin Milan, Liza Paul and Bahia Watson, volunteering my time to create and run the space.

You Village(s) have supported my most recentambitious project, The WatahTheatre which has trained scores of artists through its tuition-free and subsidised arts programs as well supporting artists such as Anique Jashoba Jordan, Babette B Burrell, Najla Nubyanluv, Tuku and Raven Dauda, volunteering to nurture this necessary institution.
Headline Performance at Dub Poetry Festival 2004

And you dear Village have supported my international initiative - the Yemoya International Artist Residency where I have mentored artists such as Che Kothari, Randell Adjei, Anthony Gebrehiwot, Titilope Sonuga, Mriga Kapadiya, Ngozi Paul and Machel Montano, to name a few. So many have benefitted from the support you have provided me with, dear Village. So many have grown through the Anitafrika Method and now I am coming to you directly to help me, an artist, to grow.
d'bi.young anitafrika Performance Reel 2018

I am a playwright-performer, director-dramaturge and educator-scholar as well as a sole-parent mother of two Black boys and I dream of returning to school to study Black Feminist Performance and Generational Trauma in the Black Body. I have created an autoethnograhic praxis called the Anitafrika Method which I have taught globally ( which I will be theorising at Goldsmiths, University of London in order to create new educational practices around self-actualization, creativity and leadership from a feminist, de-colonialist lens.

Could you help me? Feminist scholarship and Black queer feminist scholarship are crucial and incredibly under-funded and under-supported. 

The Sankofa Trilogy Trailer 2012

I need to raise $$75,000 Canadian Dollars
Can you PLEASE HELP ME by Donating to my funding campaign?

1.if you are able to contribute please do
2.if you are able to spread the word please do - Flyer Attached
3.if you able to connect me with any Black and or feminsit group or any others who may be interested in supporting me please do
4.if you have or know of any events coming up who may want to book a queer Black, feminist poet-speaker, please pass on my email

Anitafrika Dub Theatre 2008-2010

Why I Want to Attend Goldsmiths:
For the past decade I have been diligently crafting  this framework, praxis,  method, and approach to artistic training and human development that is grounded in integrity, intersectionality, feminism, love and the awareness of the complexities of oppression and how we proliferate it. Hundreds of artists and people globally, have co-created the growth of the Anitafrika Method by participating in my national and international artist residencies through ongoing workshops at the Anitafrika Dub Theatre followed by Yemoya, then The Watah Theatre & School & now the Anitafrika Retreat Centre.

The Watah Theatre 2014-2018

Through all of these projects, I have provided primarily tuition-free professional development opportunites to young people who otherwise would not have had access to such training. I also founded the micro press, Spolrusie Publishing as an extension of my commitment to provide a platform for emerging artists to archive and canonise their works, despite the absence of publishing opportunities from mainstream houses. So far the press has produced three Drama anthologies, three books of poetry, two children's books, one book of photography and a deck of cards illustrating the Anitafrika Method. The world has indeed been my lab.

Poem for Michael Brown

I have been thinking deeply about trauma and the way trauma impacts our entire humanity, in fact our entire planet. Working with myself and artists over the past 20 years, the root that we always end up digging up is trauma. Trauma is generally defined as ‘a deeply disturbing and distressing physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and or spiritual experience that impacts a person or group long after the traumatic incident or period.’ Where does this definition leave us all in this world of interconnected overlapping and intersecting systems of oppression? Are we all traumatized? And if we are all functioning from a place of trauma and don’t know it, how do we begin to heal? This is what I am interested in exploring, through theatre, through activism, through poetry and and through academia. I look at my entire body of creative work and I see an ongoing conversation about the impact of trauma on Black people and our possibilities to heal. Reflecting on the Anitafrika Method and it’s application as a mind-body healing modality, I see that there is a tremendous learning curve that the MA program can provide me with, regarding rooting the method in a practice-as-theory approach. I want to innerstand and further explore the theories around trauma and the Black body.

Anitafrika Method Arts Intervention in the Lives of Womxn Project 2015

Together in collaboration with Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, I was funded in 2014 by Women’s Xchange through Women’s College Hospital to explore the effectiveness of The Anitafrika Method as a holistic arts­-based health intervention in the improvement of Black Womxn’s health, entitled the Black Womxn’s Sacred Health Research Project. The intent of the project was to promote optimal holistic (creative, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) health services, resources and toolkits to Black and diverse womxn, by critically exploring innovative health education and advocacy through the development of the Anitafrika Method as ­ an arts informed health intervention. The  Research Question was to explore how engaging with an arts informed health intervention could positively influence the holistic embodiment of health for womxn of colour. Secondary to this, was to also explore how artistic engagement facilitates the development of agency around health within the broader community. The research was revealing of truths we already know regarding how crucial it is to continue to invest in decolonialist mind-body healing modalities such as the Anitafrika Method. To read more about the findings of the research visit The Arts-Based Intervention in the Lives of Black Womxn

Poetry Performance at the YWCA Awards Ceremony 2015

It is this desire to further develop the Anitafrika Method that takes me to Goldsmiths. I want to understand how to contextualize the Anitafrika Method in a World Theatres environment and how to theorise-into-practice the intersectional anti-oppression framework that I am cultivating. I want to dig deeper into exploring the relationship between intergenerational trauma and the Black body and I want to expand on healing practices for the traumatised Black body using the Anitafrika Method.

Why I need your support to do so:
Below are the costs involved in studying in London UK as an international student from September 2018-September 2019.

Total $75,000 CAD

The Breakdown 
$30,000 Tuition
$24,000 Housing
$10,000 Food
$6000 Housing-related costs (gas, internet, toiletries, personal products)
$3000 Airfare for three Return Trips
$2000 Ground Transportation

Studying as an international student means a doubled tuition fee plus everyday living costs. In addition to fundraising, I am researching applicable grants and applying for them. Your support means that I will be able to further my work and use it to continue contributing to the betterment of our planet. 

I intend to explore many questions during my postgraduate studies namely, How did we arrive here, as a people, as Black people, literally, spiritually, emotionally, figuratively? Where is here? Where are we in the global frame(work)? How far have we indeed come? How do I, we, trace the pain that we feel? Is it generational? Is it spiritual? Can theatre be a place to exorcise the contortions of self that I, we experience?  I have been asking these questions of myself, my community, the world, for as long as I can remember. I have amassed a comprehensive body of work that, upon closer inspection, reveals itself to be an ongoing exploration of how Black people have been affected by the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and how we negotiate the trauma of post-colonialism when the 'post' is fictional.

Black Lives Matter by d'bi & the 333

Studying world theatrical traditions through a critical intersectional, anti-oppression, decolonialist lens is what I am seeking, in order to contextualize my work. I desire to be a part of a radical scholarly community who are committed to asking the questions and seeking solutions through creative collaborative analytical processes, grounded in storytelling, theatre and performance. I choose to study Performance Making at Goldsmiths, University of London, so that I can be exposed to multiple perspectives, aesthetics, politics and frames of reference in order to expand my own understanding of what is possible in this infinite space of theatre-making. I am also in search of mentors, guides, and teachers who are rigorous, disciplined and excellent. Being guided by the wisdom and eldership of the Head of The Department Professor Osita Okagbue , who himself specialises in African and Caribbean theatre as well as and the scholars of the Theatre and Performance Department of Goldsmiths, University of London, is a dream come true. Please help it to materialise into reality.

d'bi young anitafrika Keynote Performance at INK in association with TED, India

D’bi Young Anitafrika is a queer Black feminist artist. Canadian Poet of Honor and YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Arts, she is an internationally celebrated African Jamaican Dubpoet, writer, arts-educator and three time Dora Award winning theatre practitioner, whose trans-disciplinary work explores themes of identity, gender, sexuality, divinity, the erotic, race, class and the human experience. She is the originator of the intersectional creative leadership praxis – the Anitafrika Method – which has been employed by The Stephen Lewis Foundation, The Banff Centre, U of T, MaRS, and other institutions globally. For the last two decades Anitafrika has mentored countless artists in North America, the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, South America and Europe through her world-wide performances, speaking engagements and arts-education projects. 

She has performed and lectured extensively, including an address at the United Nations, and has written nine plays, published three collections of poetry, a comic book and produced seven Dubpoetry albums. Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Watah Theatre and Spolrusie Publishing, she continues to foster the professional development of emerging to established artists through the Anitafrika Method. D’bi completed a dance apprenticeship at Coba (Collective of Black Artists) and a playwrights residency at Obsidian Theatre in Toronto Canada in 2017, where she developed her critically acclaimed Orisha Trilogy featuring the plays Esu Crossing The Middle Passage, Mami Wata & the PussyWitch Hunt, & Lukumi: A Dub Opera.

The Watah Theatre by Paul Ohonsi

A recipient of nine Dora Nominations, a Canada Council New Chapters Grant to produce Lukumi: A Dub Opera, KM Hunter Theatre award, a Mayor’s Arts award, a Vital People award, a Toronto Leadership Lab Fellow alumni, and a finalist for both the Ontario Premier Arts Award and the William Killbourn Award, Anitafrika has been fronting her Afro-Dub-Fusion band – D'bi. & the 333 – with Sudanese master musician Waleed Abdulhamid for the past several years.  Her most recent projects include: 1. Completing her autobiography Memoir of an Ugly Duckling 2. Pursuing postgraduate studies at Goldsmiths, University of London in Performance Making 3. Establishing the Black Performance Groundings at Goldsmiths, University of London — a forum investigating the Processes, Politics and Pedagogies of Black Performance and 4. Travelling the world as a Dubpoet and Keynote Speaker addressing issues of identity, gender, sexuality, divinity, the erotic, race, class and the human experience through her Anitafrika Method.

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D'bi.young Anitafrika
Toronto, ON

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