Ama Josephine Budge - Writer / Artist / Curator
Ama Josephine Budge is a Speculative Writer, Artist, Curator and Pleasure Activist whose praxis navigates intimate explorations of race, art, ecology and feminism, working to activate movements that catalyse human rights, environmental evolutions and troublesomely queered identities...
Usually based in London, from February - June 2021, Ama will be based in Upstate New York as the Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism at Bard College.
17 May 2021
Talking with Essi Vesala on FCINY's podcast, Withstanding, about ecology and contemporary art, as well as ecologically sustainable curating. What does ecologically sustainable curatorial work with contemporary art entail in today’s cultural climate? How to expand our ecological thinking when working with art, artists and exhibitions? And how to outline curatorial practices that help to shape livable futures for humans and nonhumans alike?
Withstanding looks into what lies ahead for the field of visual arts with curious eyes, as we slowly approach a post-pandemic era. Taking the form of a podcast, the series brings together art professionals from both sides of the Atlantic to share and speculate, care and criticize, and to dream of more just and sustainable conditions for artists and art practitioners at large.
June to September 2021
Queer Ecologies has a residency at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, exploring how we live, grow, love, make kin and stand in allyship with the ecosystems we’re a part of. We are telling new stories about nature and our connection to it, empowering interspecies collaborations, and honouring the inherently queer patterns and relations found throughout nature.
People of all genders and sexual orientations are welcome, with a particular welcome for Sick, Disabled, Queer, Trans, Intersex, Black folks, and People of colour (SDQTIBPOC).
See events and book here
Dawn in Alborellum, Performance
7 August 2021
Reading from my new novella, Dawn in Aborellum, at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, accompanied by installations, soundscapes, and an arboreal silks performance.
Dawn in Aborellum is an uncanny story of interspecies co-dependence, sensuality, and isolation in the wake of climate catastrophe which centres around a “dua” (a tree scientist and speaker) who uses aerial silks, now called “arboreal silks”, to communicate with the giant trees on the planet Arborellum.
The Clay In Us, Performance
22 August 2021
Linden K. McMahon will be leading an immersive storytelling walk and installation , at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.
Mysterious poems have started appearing on half-buried pots, and Rowan is convinced they are from the future…Discover messages from descendants, ancestors, and ecologies in this walk and installation written and performed by Linden K. McMahon.
Full Moon Fires, Gathering
22 August and 21st September 2021
Throughout the summer Queer Ecologies will be hosting monthly full moon fire gatherings to share what they’re working on hear from collaborators and connect with visitors to the cemetery park.
This will be a facilitated, informal, and open space to gaze at the moon, share stories, ponderings, and queer ecological encounters.
The Microbe Disco!
4 September 2021
This in/visible disco begins at the centre of a hot compost pile…
Projecting microscope videos from the Cemetery Park’s soils and waters, Queer Ecologies invite audiences to come meet your companion species and dance with microbes - coming together in new entanglements of pleasure care and curiosity, finding new rhythms, languages and moves! This evening will include a silent disco, costume-making, performances, DJs, and a chill-out space with short film screenings.
21 September 2021
1 July – 30 September 2021
Curated The Apocalypse Reading Room, an on-site library, a world of talking stories in the face of environmental and social transformation, a gathering of all the books we might need to change the end of the world…
The Apocalypse Reading Room transforms a public arts space, at Toynbee studios, into a post-apocalyptic library installation filled with books for all ages, exploring ways to build, transform, rethink, rewrite and reimagine our futures.
See events and book here
The ARR Residency Sharing, Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson
19 August 2021
Join us for an evening sharing in the Reading Room hosted by Lateisha with her chosen guest whose literary work can be found in the installation. This intimate conversation will be a chance to share, talk and reflect on the possible futures that already exist within the minds and intentions of books and their authors. Chaired by Ama Josephine Budge.
Guest speaker to be announced in the coming weeks.
The ARR Residency Sharing, Mohammed Z Rahman
26 August 2021
Join us for an evening sharing in the Reading Room hosted by Mohammed with his chosen guest whose literary work can be found in the installation. This intimate conversation will be a chance to share, talk and reflect on the possible futures that already exist within the minds and intentions of books and their authors. Chaired by Ama Josephine Budge.
Guest speaker to be announced in the coming weeks.
What Shall We Build Here: Sharings from the Reading Room
9 September 2021
As part of Artsadmin’s What Shall We Build Here festival of art, climate and community, Ama invites a panel of speakers and thinkers from the Apocalypse Reading Room to join her in an intimate evening of conversations and conjurings, exploring climate justice, queer ecology, speculative possibilities and creating our own apocalypse survival guides.
What Shall We Build Here is a festival of art, climate and community at Artsadmin’s Toynbee Studios in Aldgate East, in parks across east London and in your local supermarket.
The Apocalypse Reading Room: Artist Saturdays
every Saturday of September 2021
Ama will be in the ARR every Saturday of this month. Come hang out, read some books, there’s also 83 audio books to listen to! You can relax in a comfortable wide armchair, find a book to delve into a reflect upon, and once you’re done please recommend one of your own apocalypse survival guides on one of our Apocalypse Reading Room recommendation cards.
31 July to 31 October 2021
Contributor to Alberta Whittle’s group show, RESET, for the Edinburgh Art Festival 2021, exhibited at Jupiter Artland sculpture garden in Edinburgh.
RESET responds to the immediate context of the Black Lives Matter movement, the global pandemic, and climate emergency. The show is woven together through contributions by writers, performers, fellow artists, and musicians: Sekai Machache, Mele Broomes, Matthew Arthur Williams, Christian Noelle Charles, Ama Josephine Budge, Yves B Golden, Anushka Naanyakkara, Sabrina Henry, Richy Carey, and Basharat Khan, whom Whittle refers to as her accomplices. My text 'On Touching' is among the numerous artistic contributions.
Word by Word: Science Fiction as Activism, Workshop
15 August 2021
Facilitator for a writing workshop at the Bush theatre focussing on worldbuilding and taking sci-fi as a point of departure to consider the politics and potentials of centring protagonists, storylines, and realities that remain both oppressed and marginalised by Western patriarchal societies.
Word by Word Presents is a new series of 12 unique writing workshops created and led by an exciting range of professional writers. Particularly welcoming people of colour, LGBTQ+ folk, and other marginalised voices to join.
25 September – 10 October
Writing a short story about the Sunken Garden which engages speculative fiction and ethnobotany for the Margate NOW 2021 festival.
Margate NOW is a yearly festival, which this year is taking on the human-made natural environment and the possible role, participation and responsibility of cultural practitioners in caring for, engaging with, reclaiming, or reimagining green spaces.
23 October 2021
In residence at the Ingestre Orangery, along with artists Adam Moore and Verity Birt, where we've engaged with the site using pleasure as protest, movement practices and archeological digging to investigate and interpret this site of multiple imported identities, show, and pleasure.
Ingestre Orangery opens their contemporary art programme 'Pleasure Ground' with a new online and gallery exhibition event on 23rd October. 'Pleasure Ground' will use the building and grounds to showcase the unique historical space drawing new contemporary art audiences to The Orangery and opening up the building’s history in new ways. The project asks what role these spaces have served and what relevance they have today; with local and global ties, how these traditional spaces can be used for positive change; becoming inclusive and creative spaces for sharing and celebrating pleasure now?
“Ama is exactly the kind of young writer we need, innovative, daring, fantastical and delicious, the UK’s N.K Jemisin meets Tomi Adeyemi.”
- Tosin Coker, The Mouth of Babes
Ama Josephine Budge's A Shoal of Lovers Leads me Home is a " heady, hopeful sensorium"
- Michael Matheson, Anathema: Spec from the Margins