Kuumba Nia Arts is an Black led Oxford-based touring theatre company that produces and develops work based on traditional African theatrical forms and aesthetics. In Swahili, Kuumba means ‘creativity’ whilst Nia can be translated as ‘intention’ or ‘purpose’. Our mission and purpose is to fuse contemporary creative performance styles with historical African forms that have been passed to the diaspora to create a theatre that breaks new ground. Creating unique productions of startling authenticity that inform, surprise and entertain. We also run workshops, film screenings and events.
When one woman tells of her extraordinary journey to overcome the brutality of slavery, she becomes a beacon for the British anti slavery movement. Born into enslavement in the British Colony of Bermuda, Mary Prince went on to become an autobiographer and a champion of freedom. Her book had an electrifying effect on the abolitionist movement helping to free many Africans in bondage. Through theatre song, music, drumming and dance this master piece of Black British Theatre is inspired by the storytelling traditions of the West African griots.
Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains Collective have had an amazing four year with SOLD. In 2022 we won two OFFies, took Mary Prince’s story home to Bermuda – opening the Bermuda Festival, played the Physical Theatre Festival in Chicago, continued to tour nationally and brought SOLD back to our Oxford home more than three years after we started.
2023 is shaping up to be equally exciting we have we have expanding our team, performed at The Cayman Arts Festival, and have a Spring tour with House Theatre Network.
"a hauntingly gripping presentation that stays with you long after the curtain goes down"
North West End UK ★★★★★
“Sold’ is, in short, a masterpiece that demands to be seen”
“Sold is a compelling piece of theatre”
The Reviews Hub ★★★★★
"Sold is an integral, thought provoking piece of work – a crucial watch!"
Theatre Full Stop
A glimpse into the world of SOLD.
'To be free is very sweet'
Join us for the whole experience on our Spring Tour 2023
10 March - 29 April
Loss has been a big part of the last few years for so many of us....
John was much more than a Co-director of Kuumba Nia Arts. It is still hard to find the words to remember and honour him. Grief has it's own timetable. You can listen to him sharing his own words, in our development weekend workshop videos. He is and shall always be greatly missed but his work lives on. Our future Symposiums shall celebrate him and we shall share news of his book when it is published. Hear and watch John here
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