Tate Modern Performance

BMW Tate Live Exhibition Poor People’s TV Room Solo

a woman crouches with a blurring image of a running person behind her

Okwui Okpokwasili Poor People’s TV Room 2017. Performance view, New York Live Arts, April 18, 2017. Photo © Paul B. Goode.

Discover Okwui Okpokwasili's intensely physical performative work which looks at inter-generational relationships between black women

Okpokwasili turns to the text of The Commissioned Reports compiled in the wake of the 1929 Women’s War where Nigerian women rose against both the British colonial powers and the indigenous male representatives.

In an extended song that is both a cry of grievance and an attempt at opening a portal to the past, Okpokwasili’s lyrics are embedded with direct quotes from the women warriors. This is her very personal attempt to undo the erasure of the history of the Women’s War and access the voices of these embattled women.

Okwokwasili explains Poor People’s TV Room Solo is ‘concerned with memory and how the people before you live on in you in the most mysterious ways.’


Okwui Okpokwasili was born in New York, USA, in 1972 as a child of Nigerian migrants. She came to prominence with her one-woman show Bronx Gothic (2014) and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2018.

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