Part One - I Write My Story: When I was thirteen years old, after completing my first and only performance in Jamaica’s National Secondary Schools’ Theatre Festival, I ran outside, looked up and saw three prominent stars lined up, one behind the other peering down at me. These were the same stars I had claimed as my own when I was five. They followed me wherever I went and so I dubbed them my magic protectors. Right there, outside of the theatre festival, I made a promise to these stars to be my very best, in exchange for a long life as a storyteller.
My name is D’bi Young Anitafrika and I am an African Jamaican (born and raised) multidisciplinary performance artist: Dub poet, monodramatist, playwright, director, dramaturge, educator and emerging scholar, who has lived for the past twenty-five years in Canada and all over the world. I now live in London UK. My art engages complex dialogues on race, class, sexual orientation, gender, ability & the overlapping intersections of our humanity. My art is heavily influenced by the performative and political environment of emerging Dub poetry in Jamaica of 1980s. I am the daughter of Anita Stewart (a Dub poet and original member of Poets in Unity), and Winston Young, (an avid community organiser). I grew up watching (and later emulating) my mother and father, and the foundation Dub poets such as Mikey Smith, Jean Binta Breeze and Linton Kwezi Johnson, who became my life-long teachers in storytelling. My mother and her contemporaries, poeticised struggles for racial, economic, gender & class equality. I am my mother’s daughter.
At fifteen years old I moved to Canada to join my parents. Over a period of twenty years, through rigorous artistic mentorship, I grew and developed my ideas around biomyth theatre, theatre of recovery, artist mentorship and the Anitafrika Method: an intersectional anti-oppressive feminist praxis utilised by artists, instigators, educators, and change-makers world-wide. The Anitafrika Method has steadily grown and expanded globally throughout the years, supporting artists in cultivating self-recovery/self-actualisation, creativity, and leadership...TBC