Interviewer: [00:00:00] Ok, so Moj of the Antarctic, the show that you’ve performed in 2007, can you tell us a little bit about what that’s about?
Mojisola Adebayo: [00:00:08] Sure. It’s it’s basically it’s a play inspired not exactly based on be inspired by the life of Ellen Craft, who’s a mid 19th century African American slave, who co-dressed as a white man to escape slavery. And she successfully crossed and eventually came to live in England where spent. So it’s I discovered this story. I wanted I wanted to make something about this incredible this incredible performance that she carried out and performance in inverted commas. So, yeah. So I based the play was sort of inspired by her, but I kind of I take that story on a fantastical journey. And this character based on Ellen Craft is called Moj and ends up coming to London and meeting a sailor who gives her an idea about going and becoming a sailor herself. And she becomes a sailor and sails the Southern Ocean and then steps foot on Antarctica and becomes the first black woman in inverted commas, to step foot in Antarctica. So it’s called ‘Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey’, so it’s very much a kind of it’s trying to bring together the continent of Africa, of Europe and the Americas and Antarctica through this this fantastical odyssey really in its journey.
Interviewer: [00:01:31] Ok, so they like the intersectionality that plays a central aspect… you talk a little bit how you understand the importance of bringing together race, class, gender, sexuality…the environment, as well you all into one text.
Mojisola Adebayo: [00:01:44] Yeah, well, basically, I kind of discovered the story and it obviously has lot of resonances for me as a queer person, as a person that enjoys playing with gender in role. And and it just seemed to me her life was a kind of perfect example of how and of how, although we’re kind of forced in Western society anyway to sort of kind of equal ops kind of world that we live in, to tick certain boxes that she that she you know you know, two hundred years ago, one hundred and fifty years ago, I was weaving in and out of those boxes in her life for necessity, for liberation, to escape slavery. And when I was just really interested in that and also the fact that she didn’t just cross racial boundaries, but she crossed gender boundaries and she also crossed boundaries of slave and free person. And she also across boundaries of geography that she went from the Deep South to the north, across the Atlantic to England, and in my story, this character goes even further south to Antarctica.