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Alexandrina Hemsley

Alexandrina believes in dance & the body as a site for expressing felt & embodied politics. She works across disciplines of live art, dance, dance for camera, theatre, mentoring, creative and critical writing. Her practice is shaped by and insists on embodied enquiries into a multiplicity of voices. Interested in liminal spaces, connectivity, fracturing, displacement and emotionality, she is continually attempting to conjure intersecting, gentle noise amidst oppressive silencing. It is a life long project. Collaborations include Project O with Jamila Johnson-Small (2011 onwards, Sadlers Wells New Wave Associates) and Seke Chimutengwende (2016 onwards) on a new piece of work Black Holes. She was Guest Editor of Disability Arts Online in July 2019.

Posts by Alexandrina Hemsley

Woman looking at camera

Access Rider Open Template

As a  downloadable resource put together as a template for reflection on how to approach naming your access requirements for organisations you may work with as a freelance disabled artist, Alexandrina Hemsley offers an access rider with guiding comments from their lived experience as a person of colour with invisible ...

Woman looking at camera

Podcast ep. 13 Disability And…Race with Alexandrina Hemsley and Deborah Williams

On this month's podcast, previous Disability Arts Online Guest Editor and multidisciplinary artist Alexandrina Hemsley speaks to writer, producer, digital composer and equality/diversity advocate Deborah Williams. They talk about the historic exclusion of artists of colour from both the mainstream and disability arts worlds, coping strategies and some of the ...

NASA photograph of space

How long will it be until we are home? The scattering effects of marginalisation

In a powerful expose of the triple whammy of racism, misogyny and disableism Alexandrina Hemsley talks about the experience of being 'scattered' and draws on disclosing vulnerabilities as a way to find interconnectedness. I scatter and it can take years for all of me to come back. The scattering first happened ...

abstracted mirrored portrait of the artist

Embers – free association writing in response to movement

Alexandrina Hemsley shares two poems written during her project ‘Embers’ (2017-19). Embers explores how individuals and communities can return to intimacy after violence and includes some film works. Over the coming years she hopes to develop the work into an interdisciplinary performance. “In order to rise From its own ashes A phoenix First Must Burn.” ― Octavia Butler, Parable ...

Two dancers dressed as flight attendants

Candoco Dance Company: A Graceful Act of Stupidity

As part of A Bit Of A Do, a 3-day mini-festival of work by disabled artists organised by Drunken Chorus at London's Stanley Halls, Candoco Dance Company performed its new duet A Graceful Act of Stupidity. Using movement, spoken word and British Sign Language it follows the journey of two ...

Colourful illustrated wall mural of people hugging

Visual artist Rudy Loewe – vibrant visibility

Alexandrina Hemsley introduces a showcase of work by visual artist Rudy Loewe. One of the events I'm most interested in being attentive to and finding out more about, is how and why the voices of marginalised artists rise and fall. Even anecdotally, I know that rates of burnout among Black artists ...

Dancers balancing

Second Hand Dance’s Rosie Heafford – Reaffirming the importance of touch

Alexandrina Hemsley chatted to choreographer and close friend Rosie Heafford about her company Second Hand Dance, the merits of children's work, her upcoming project Touch (a co-commission with Unlimited and GOSH Arts) and more inclusive practices within dance. Second Hand Dance has been making dance works in a range of spaces ...

Group of protesters carrying placards

Karen Doyle – the creativity of rest and protest

Guest editor, Alexandrina Hemsley interviews artist and Movement For Justice activist Karen Doyle. Working across fine art and political activism, Karen talks about her journey through formal arts education, the urgency of carving out activist spaces and the creativity of protest. Feeling ‘a bit of a fraud’ in art at secondary ...

a large group of dancers on stage

Magpie Dance showcase

Alexandrina Hemsley introduces a showcase of work by Magpie Dance – a leading UK dance charity for people with learning disabilities – as part of her guest editorship. Fresh out of dance conservatoire training, I was looking for a way to gain experience in settings that hadn’t been as visible within my ...

Woman running across a landscape

For Each Of Us; Gaps between professional advocacy and private experience

Disability Arts Online's latest Guest Editor is choreographer, dancer and writer Alexandrina Hemsley, who kicks of their editorship with an opinion piece about the contradictions she faces in navigating the contemporary dance scene and offers up gentle solidarity. I come to this guest editorship articulating some of my long term mental ...

Alexandrina Hemsley