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Introducing our newest Artist in Residence

Posted on Wed 24 Aug 2016
Image credit: 2416 The Afronaut © Drojan Visuals a.k.a Alejandro Padron 2016.

‘Blues Song of a Lost Afronaut' is a completely new immersive experience exploring identity and mythology. It is the latest brilliant idea commissioned through Watershed’s Artist in Residence programme.

The residency is aimed at talented artists in need of space to develop their embryonic ideas. So we are delighted to introduce Edson Burton - recipient of the latest residency, who will be joining us in September…

Edson is a writer, historian, programme curator and performer.  At heart a storyteller, he creates work informed by his many interests - local history, the transatlantic slave trade, race and representation. Edson is already an accomplished theatre writer – creating dramas, plays and scripts for theatre, dance and screen - but now he’s keen to transform an unusual idea into an immersive experience. This will be a completely new departure for Edson – being both massively exciting and full of possibilities.

Edson explains:

"Tendrils of an idea: a journey through space, time, and meaning coalesced into ‘Blues Song of a Lost Afronaut’. This project may have wandered through the astral plains of the imagination forever, were it not for Watershed offering me this residency. This residency marks a journey from writer to creative lead on a project that can only be realised collaboratively. I can't wait for lift off."

The tale follows a Black Afronaut explorer as he travels through space recording a science series exploring the possibility of life on other planets. Landing on a devastated Earth he discovers the origins of his civilization - his ancient ancestors escaped an environmental catastrophe centuries before. Then, having colonised a new world, its founders severed all ties with their racialised past. The Afronaut composes a blues song and experiences the particular conditions which gave the song life.

Edson will be resident at Watershed between September and January 2017. He will be openly sharing his progress throughout the residency and become part of the community at Pervasive Media Studio.

Want to know more? Edson will talk about his exciting ideas during a Lunchtime Talk at Pervasive Media Studio on Fri 30 Sept. This is a excellent opportunity to come along, learn more and contribute your thoughts. Lunchtime Talks are completely free and there's no need to book in advance - just bring your lunch, swing by, and then stick around for the afternoon, as part of Open Studio Friday!

2416 The Afronaut was part of Edson Burton and Alejandro Padron's performance of The Time Machine: If i rewind or fast forward time who am I?