About the Collaborators: Abena Koomson & Kristina Leko

Abena Koomson is a Brooklyn based writer, educator and performer. Notable performances include Celebrate Brooklyn’s African Festival with her musical project Blacksmith Orchestra, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), the Four Women Tribute at Lincoln Center, and the Urban Voices International Festival, South Africa. In 2008, after a 10-year teaching career and 3 years as Dean at the Winston Preparatory School, Abena went on to originate the role of Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti to rave reviews in the Off- Broadway production of FELA! a new musical. She joined the award-winning cast on Broadway as one of FELA’s singers, and reprised her role as Funmilayo as an understudy for both Lillias White and Patti LaBelle. In addition to Blacksmith Orchestra, she currently sings with afrobeat sensation Zongo Junction, the funk rock band Van Davis and is a founding member of the a cappella trio Saheli.

Kristina Leko is visual artist based in Zagreb, Croatia. She works in the medium of video, photography, text, and object installation, with social interaction at the core of her investigation and activity, which is often placed in public space. She has initiated and realized several extensive community art projects in different countries, mainly in collaboration with deprived social groups. Her solo exhibitions include Secession, Vienna; NGBK Berlin; Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; Institute for Art in Public Space Styria; Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb. Her works are included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb; Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig; TBA-21, Vienna; Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, among others.

 

 

CEZNJA: BORN LONGING (tales and songs from croatia) is part of One Big City, a series of collaborative residencies and events produced by CEC ArtsLink in partnership with leading cultural venues to engage New York City’s diaspora communities through international arts initiatives.  One Big City is funded by The Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

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