performingbordersRadio x Montez Press Radio | Untethered Magic

performingbordersRADIO Episode 3
Original broadcasting date:
27 July 2023
Edited by: Olive Mondegreen

Tune in to performingbordesRadio, an exploration into the entanglement between Live Art, sound, and notions and lived experiences of intersectional and transnational borders, bi-monthly on Montez Press Radio. In this new show, performingborders take to the radio to share collaborative, sound-based performance work created with and by artists in their network.

This month performingborders shares an audio collage of their time working with Untethered Magic, from visiting their space on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya in February 2023 during a two-week residency, to ongoing digital conversations on transnational collaboration. Untethered Magic, run by artists Syowia Kyambi, Kibe Wangunyu, and Ciaran Nash, is both a home and an independently run residency space that encourages growth, independence, and processes of unlearning. It is a space being set up to live with the land, thinking through sustainability in environmental and social terms.

During their time collaborating, performingborders and Untethered Magic have discussed ideas of place, sustainability, and live art, thinking through the creation of alternative spaces for experimental work. In this show, they share conversations between the two collectives, alongside readings and short performative interventions by artists who joined them during the residency in Kenya including Nekoye Ommeh, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Esther Kamba, and Joseph Kanyenje.

Artists name & Pronouns:
Anahi Saravia Herrera she/her

Alessandra Cianetti  she/her

Xavier de Sousa he/him + they/them

Syowia Kyambi she/her

Kibe Wangunyu he/him

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo she/her

Nekoye Ommeh she/her

Esther Kamba she/her

Joseph Kanyenje he/him 

Ciaran Nash he/him 

Artist biogs:

Untehered Magic’s goal is to provide s supportive communal safe space for creatives, so they may focus on their processes. They strive to push forward research-based conceptual contemporary arts for the Global South. Untethered Magic continually seeks out creatives to open the challenges of an environment that demands experimentation, cooperation, and exchange. Untethered Magic is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

performingborders is a collectively run platform for artistic research and creation, focused on notions and lived experiences of intersectional borders through international live art and performance practices. Drawing from the knowledge shared by the contributors of the platform, performingborders has over the years created a digital and live tapestry of interconnected, transnational experiments through interviews, artist commissions, open calls, publications, residencies, workshops, conversations, events, newsletters, and performingbordersLIVE. In both their collaborative work and individual research, they work with a definition of border that is open and acknowledges the diversity of experiences at the intersections of cultural, juridical, racial, gendered, class, physical, economic, and everyday borders.

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo is an interdisciplinary story-maker working to forge paths to joy and freedom. Principally working in film and poetry, her poems appear in Wasafiri, Obsidian, and The Malahat and elsewhere. Her short film, Joy’s Garden has screened around the world. Ngwatilo lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

This show features her poems July, and Who Do You Think You Are/Falling In. 


Lyrics: Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

Music: Lisa Noah

Lead Vocals: Lisa Noah

Spoken Vocal: Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

Produced by: David “Blackman” Muthami

Additional Keyboards: Noel Nderitu 

Backing Vocals: Muthoni Hunja, Sara Mitaru, Wambura Mitaru

Who Do You Think You Are/Falling In: 

Lead Vocals: Kavutha Mwanzia Asiyo and Muthoni Hunja

Spoken Vocal Written & Performed By Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

Song Used with permission from David “Blackman” Muthami and Kavutha Mwanzia Asiyo 

Music: David “Blackman” Muthami

Backing Vocal: Sara Mitaru

Nekoye Ommeh navigates her existence through the lenses of both academia and art. In 2021 she graduated with a Masters degree in Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg South Africa. In 2017 she graduated with a Bachelor’s and Honours degrees in Live Performance from AFDA – The school for the creative economy. She graduated top of her year group with the honours of Cum Laude and gave the Valedictorian speech at the graduation ceremony. In addition, her show titled “Crossroad” received the award for the best music performance at the graduation festival.

Nekoye is a singer-songwriter who specialises in Kijiba chanting which is a spiritual language she created in the year 2011 and defines it as an expression of her soul’s tongue. Kijiba is a raw and authentic expression of her emotions, the chants express that which conventional words cannot define.

This show features her work Zama.

Esther Kamba is a Kenyan-Canadian creative based in Kenya, she operates on multilayered platforms as a director, dramaturge, cultural agitator, feminist provocateur, mentor, and a mother. She is a co-founder of the Kenyan experimental multidisciplinary artistic company Falme Arts which started its operations in 2016. She is also a co-founder of Directors Incubator, a Kenyan initiative company that hopes to expand and grow the importance of theatre directors in Kenya. Directing theatrical masterpieces has been her mission as a storyteller and she values facilitating healing by authentically and honestly telling meaningful and impactful stories. She believes in the power of the craft of theatre as a medium that can provoke dialogue, challenge existing narratives or stereotypes and transform communities. Esther is a graduate of the Canadian Prestigious University, York University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in theatre. The presence of a spiritual intervention, a form of collective liberation and an exploration of history through a lens of intersectionalities centers her work around the subject of African theatrical versions of performances. Esther’s experimental methods of deconstructing formats of performance and text, to find a deeper understanding of humanity, coupled with her focus on scenography have catapulted her to an award-winning position in the Kenyan contemporary theatre scene.

Joseph Kanyenje: Dancer-choreographer who can work with dancers and actors of all ages and experience levels. Proficient at organizing live performances specializing in large theatre productions. They are the Artistic Director of Pamoja Dance Group. Joseph has specialized in dance with persons with disabilities and also teaches several dance crews by going as an experienced choreographer to community centers and social halls. Joseph got his dance training from attending dance workshops done by local and international choreographers, and also through experience from working throughout the years.