Layla Zami is an innovative academic and artist working with words, music, performance, and video. Layla recently earned a Ph.D. from the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany. She was also a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University, and holds a bilingual M.A. from the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs.

Her transdisciplinary approach to research and teaching orbits around matters of dance / performance / corporeality; cultural memory / trauma; gender / sexuality; diaspora / race / migration; and space-time.

She presented her work in the form of lecture-performances, invited talks, screenings and workshops in the USA, France, Taiwan, Indonesia, Turkey, India, the UK and all across Germany.

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Dancing Through Gardens
Film & Discussion

Flyer Salon Qi 2017

In the realm of Oxana Chi's Salon Qi, an annual cultural series in memory of Tatjana Barbakoff (1899-1944), the award-winning documentary Durch Gärten Tanzen (Dancing Through Gardens) screens in an elegant Berlin movie-theatre, in presence of the filmmakers Oxana Chi & Layla Zami. In this journey through Germany, Indonesia and France, we encounter an inspiring and stirring blend of historical archive material, awareness-raising fiction scenes and graceful dance performances.

Dec 4th, 2017 (Sonntagsmatinee)
at 11 am (11 Uhr vormittags)
Bundesplatz Kino, Berlin



New Article in English

Cover Lambda Nordica 2017

Dancing the Past in the Present Tense: Queer Afropean Presence in Oxana Chi's Dancescapes

In Lambda Nordica, vol. 2-3, 2017, pp. 126-150. (Print and Online)

This special issue of the English-speaking, peer-reviewed journal Lambda Nordica (Uppsala University, Sweden) focuses on the "Postcolonial Queer Europe". In good company among international scholars such as Prof. Paola Bachetta (UC Berkeley), Layla Zami's article discusses the work of dancer-choreographer Oxana Chi in an innovative and poetic way.

 more info



Pre-Performance Talk
Danspace Project NYC

Flyer Danspace Project NYC

Layla Zami will facilitate a talk with dancer-choreographer André M. Zachery, Director of the Renegade Performance Group (RPG). The conversation will be followed by Untamed Space, a new interdisciplinary performance about "marooning" in the 21st Century, in the realm of RPG's Afrofuturism Series.

Sept 30th, 2017
at 7 pm

 more info



Cheikh Anta Diop International Conference

Flyer Philadelphia Diop Conference 2017

Layla Zami presents a lecture-performance at the 29th Annual Conference organized by the Diopian Institute for Scholarly Advancement (DISA) in Philadelphia. The talk "Afroeuropean Dance in Time" includes a live dance performance by Oxana Chi and live saxophone by Layla Zami.

Oct 20th & 21st, 2017
Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District Hotel, Philadelphia

 more info



Guest Speaker / Performer
Auditorium at Grimm-Zentrum, Berlin

Poster Race Power Privilege

Layla Zami is invited to open the international roundtable "Queer of Color Critique" at the conference Race, Power, and Privilege in Academia, organized jointly by the Kennedy Institute of North American Studies (Freie Universität) and the American Studies Department (Humboldt University).
Featuring special guest Oxana Chi with the live performance Killjoy

July 27th, 2017
at 4.45 pm



New Publication

Tanzkunst als lebendige Erinnerung: Oxana Chis performative Erinnerung an Tatjana Barbakoff
In Neues Judentum – altes Erinnern? Zeiträume des Gedenkens, edited by Dimitrij Belkin, Lara Hensch, and Eva Lezzi, Hentrich&Hentrich / ELES, 2017, pp. 267–288.

A new anthology on Jewish perspectives on the past, present and future of memory in Europe, launching a new publication series. Blending theoretical analysis, literary essay and research diary, my essay focuses on the dance piece Through Gardens choreographed and performed by Oxana Chi in memory of Tatjana Barbakoff. I wrote it during my time as a Doctoral Fellow from the Ernst-Ludwig-Ehrlich-Studienwerk (ELES) Foundation.

 more info



Here & Black Festival / Feministische Werkstatt

Layla Zami will perform at the Here & Black Festival organized by the Feministische Werkstatt. Opening the evening with spoken words and saxophone, she is also a special guest musician in Oxana Chi's Neferet iti performance.

Zwischenraum / Heliodrom Kulturarena des Theater R.A.B., Freiburg

July 13th, 2017
at 7 pm



Talk in Finland

 preliminary program (pdf)

Layla Zami will present a paper at the Sixth Biennial Network Conference, organised by the University of Tampere and the international research network Afroeuropeans – Black Cultures and Identities in Europe. The talk, entitled Afropean Moves: Black European languages of ResistDance, includes a short live performance by Oxana Chi.

University of Tampere, Finland,
6 - 8 July 2017