Ni’Ja Whitson | The NWA Project – 2018 Cornell Biennial



A Mediation on Tongues

Live-dance and Multimedia Adaptation

Cornell Council for the Arts’ (CCA) 2018 Biennial kicks off September 14-15 at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts with “A Meditation on Tongues,” conceived and directed by Ni’Ja Whitson, performed by The NWA Project. The piece is a live-dance and multimedia adaptation of Marlon T. Riggs’ iconic film “Tongues Untied” (1989).

Part abstract, part performance ritual, part live and historical document, this rigorously layered interdisciplinary project (re)images Black and Queer masculinities. It struts. It snaps. It frames new questions about loss at the height of the AIDS pandemic, while challenging constructions of Black love of/as revolution. A bold deconstruction of Riggs’ collectivist aesthetics and a raw invocation that shapeshifts gender, sexuality, and the body, “A Meditation on Tongues” remixes historic and embodied invisibilities, spilling between the spaces of mourning and celebration.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students, seniors, and the Cornell community, and are available at or at the Schwartz Center box office (430 College Ave.) Monday–Saturday, 1:00–8:00 p.m.

  • September 14 - 15, 2018
  • Flex Theatre, Schwartz Center
  • 8p

Ni’Ja Whitson (US) | The NWA Project

Department of Performing & Media Arts

See all Biennial Projects