Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art

After Kinte

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Tako Taal’s After Kinte will be available to watch online for the final performance on Sunday 16th June at 4pm. The video will start at 3:45.

After Kinte is a newly commissioned play for three performers by artist Tako Taal. Structured as an extended prologue and single act, the work digests transcripts of actors’ roundtables to ruminate on the figure and the legacies of Kunta Kinte, a character at the centre of Alex Haley’s novel Roots: The saga of an American Family (1976). The work continues Tako’s interest in the slippages between individual identity and wider cultural histories, using citations and samples to map an alternate genealogy that could also be understood as the path of an object as it falls; a continuous line of descent.

The character of Kunta Kinte is based on an ancestor of Haley’s who was enslaved in The Gambia in the 18th century and taken to North America. In 1977 Roots was serialised for television and became the most watched TV mini-series. The global success of Roots has led to Kinte’s Gambian birthplace becoming a site of pilgrimage, a condition that Tako has previously explored in her work and circulates through the character of Kunta Kinte as a cultural spectacle. 

The play builds on research into the format of the actors’ roundtable, synonymous with the US-based film industry magazine The Hollywood Reporter. At these roundtables, celebrated actors often reflect on the experience and art of inhabiting a character, and the impact this has on their everyday lives. After Kinte questions the various ways that histories and memory may resurface in the present day, and how characterisation can become a place of genesis or departure. 

Tako would like to thank: Seán Elder for your astute thoughts on early drafts of the script; the team at Glasgow International for the invitation and your absolute support in bringing this into being, Richard Birkett, Poi Marr, Pelumi Odubanjo, Diana Stevenson and Ailie Fleming; Cédric Fauq and CAPC for widening the dream; Paul, Olly, Sam, the backstage team and front of house at Tramway for handling the details; Mansewood Allotments for your generosity and kind use of the site; Conor, Claude, Adam, Sabina, Rebbeca, and Rowan, for keeping it all going. 

Commissioned by Glasgow International and co-produced by CAPC Bordeaux. With support from British Council Spotlight on Culture and presentation support from Tramway.

Frances Adam Kashmiry
Nat Rebecca Wilkie
Pre Sabrina Mandulu
Interviewer Tako Taal

Writer & Director Tako Taal
Sound Design Claude Nouk
Lighting Design Paul Sorley
Set Fabrication Dan Griffiths
Makeup Artist MV Brown
Producer Conor Baird
Stills Photographer Rowan Markson
Video Documentation Daniel Hughes, Jordan Yorkston, Mark Readhead and Andrew Black

Live Captions Louisa McDaid & Éilis Murray

6-16 June Tramway Theatre, Glasgow 2024