Performed in collaboration with Cédric Fauq, Mbu combines multi-layered video projection with dance, sound and live percussion to speculate about embodied histories. The title Mbu means ocean or sea in Lingala, a Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and mother tongue of Maheke's father, whose singing features in the soundtrack.
This celebration of Maheke's family lineage also makes reference to his polyandrous great grandmother Nendu and the matriarchal Lele clan to which Maheke's father belongs. With this performance Maheke deepens his autobiographical exploration of physical memory by considering the queer Black body as an archive, using its waters as pathways to knowledge and information.
The artwork is inspired by the concept of hydrofeminism and the work of the feminist Astrida Neimanis, who writes, ‘For us humans, the flow and rush of water sustains our own bodies, but also connects them to other bodies, to other worlds beyond our human selves.’