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Lady Blake: Welcome

Reconnect to Memory

IGNITING EMBODIED MEMORIES THROUGH QUEER RITUAL

Lady Blake in MASS is an exploration of the “embodied archive” - the memories stored inside the black body.


Lady Blake Ophelia Stratum is the seventh generation first born of the line of the Royal House of Stratum, Keepers of Memory of the Empire of MaKroMa. As first born to Queen Makila of the House of Stratum she was deemed a gift in light energy, because she was born on the day of the first arrival of "the newcomers".

To honor them, her mother named her Lady Blake Ophelia Stratum.

Lady Blake had a natural affinity for storing memories within her body - even at a young age. Her mother recognised this and taught her the ways of ritual and memory of the MaKroMa people.
In 1492, the life of ritual, connection and community in the Empire of MaKroMa was disrupted when "the newcomers" returned but this time bringing with them a "Great Invasion" that wiped the memory of the MoKroMa people and erased their culture.

In an effort to save their rituals and memories, her mother, Queen Makila and the Elders sacrificed the spirit of Lady Blake throwing her through time and space, across the seas and away from the enemy. Her new life, her mission - to rebuild what was erased from their societies.


Lady Blake Ophelia Stratum has LANDED in Jamaica in 2020

The Story: Lady Blake Ophelia Stratum awakens into her new reality – 2020 post colonial Jamaica where instead of being regaled as royalty of the House of Stratum, she is now “the other.” Distinctly different, in shape and form in a place and time that is far outside of her familial home – the courts of the House of Stratum. She awakens to the realization of what she must do now – find her tribe and remind them of the ancestral truths locked away inside them


As Lady Blake awakes into her new reality - 2020 Jamaica - beneath a massive cotton tree - she is confused and disoriented; where is she? when is she?

The world has changed and it's frightening, the cotton tree hovering over her urging her to life. She is triggered into memory by sacred tools of ritual securely tucked within her Koli Cover - the traditional warrior garment her mother once wore. With every trigger, she remembers her people and her mission to find her Tribe and to remind them of the rituals of the Great MaKroMa people and to reignite their connection to the rituals and spirit of the MoKroMa in order to survive in this world - Jamaica

She readies herself in ritual, sheding leaves and shrubs to find her legs longer than she remembered and her skin glistening like ebony branded by the "wiss" of the House of Stratum. She performs ritual as her mother taught her because she knows she must prepare for this strange new world and she must beware ... Have the newcomers already found this world?

She stands up at the root of the massive tree, a mysterious figure appears in the distance, playing slow and steady, a rhythm that will unlock all the memories she had locked inside her body.

This rhythm told her to be brave and "Walk Tall" into this new future.

Lady Blake: In the News
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THE DIARY OF LADY BLAKE

I am Simone Harris, 7th generation Jamaican Maroon from the line of Nanny of the Maroons; a fierce warrior and leader of the Windward Maroons and Jamaica’s only national heroine. I am a queer artist, activist, and community organiser. I greet you with peace and in one love. The Diary of Lady Blake Podcast is a deep exploration into my ancestral roots using embodied memory to reimagine my place on the postcolonial island of Jamaica.

Medium: Simone Harris
Direction: Margaux Brown and Kimalea Campbell
Audio Seasoning: King Diana

Special thanks: Ruth McCarthy, Outburst Queer Arts Festival

Commune with Lady Blake
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LADY BLAKE AT OUTBURST

catflap is Outburst’s brand new magazine of smart queer writing with a disco heart, featuring stunning essays, interviews

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