Here I Am
World Premiere Virtual Performance
Created by the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics in partnership with the GU Theater & Performance Studies Program
An Original Performance by Mélisande Short-Colomb
Performed by Mélisande Short-Colomb and Somi Kakoma (Grammy Award-nominated vocalist and composer)
A native of New Orleans who began her studies at Georgetown in 2017 at the age of 63, Mélisande Short-Colomb is a direct descendant of Abraham Mahoney and Mary Ellen Queen who were among the 314 members of the group known today as the GU272, enslaved people owned and sold by the Maryland Jesuits in 1838 to rescue Georgetown University from insolvency and bankruptcy. More than an autobiographical chronicle, this ritualistic experience weaves narrative, music, and imagery, inviting the audience on an experiential journey exploring Colomb’s loving and complicated relationship with the institution that enslaved her ancestors. Interrogating uncomfortable truths, rather than offering easy answers, Here I Am challenges participants to bear witness and to reckon with their own histories, and to imagine the future of racial justice in America.
Premiering Online in Conjunction with Emancipation Day the week of April 16, 2021
Preview: Tuesday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. EST
Opening Night: Thursday, April 15 at 5:30 p.m. EST in association with the Universities Studying Slavery Annual Conference, hosted by Georgetown
Friday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. EST
Saturday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m. EST
Supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by the Office of the President at Georgetown University.