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Experimental 3m 2008

Single-channel video, color, sound

Commissioned and produced by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for st_age

Sopera de Yemaya (trans. Yemaya’s soup tureen) is an experimental short film by Courtney Desiree Morris, social anthropologist and conceptual artist based in California. It explores the relationship between the black female body, nature, and the divine. Guided by the idea that the sacred can be found everywhere, even in the most mundane spaces and practices of daily life, the artist delves into the experiences of female ancestors and elders whose stories are often missing from family histories and official historical narratives. The film draws on the folklore of Yemaya, a deity with roots in the Yoruba religion who is often depicted as a mermaid. Stories about Yemaya were brought to Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and the U.S. by enslaved Africans as early as the 16th century. The film focuses on the Orisha, Yemaya, the Yoruba deity who rules the earth’s oceans and motherhood. “Using my own pregnant body as a vessel, I perform 7 rituals–in sites ranging from my own bathroom and kitchen to rivers and the ocean–that represent the many different facets of Yemaya’s divine energy and the natural sites that she inhabits.”

This film is available for the extension of the festival, until Sunday 14 November.

This film is available for audiences worldwide.

You can watch it with the following Festival Passes: