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The extraordinary Pocha Nostra: A deep dive into LADA’s archive with Ansuman Biswas

The transdisciplinary arts organisation and performance troupe La Pocha Nostra has been creating ephemeral communities of rebel artists for the last 30 years. Their manifold practice explores the notion of collaboration across national borders, race, gender and generations, and deals with themes such as migration, post-nationalism, colonial violence, western fetishisation, and the relationship between art, politics and activism. 

Join us for a deep dive into La Pocha Nostra’s archive held at LADA’s Study Room, led by artist Ansuman Biswas who has been collaborating with La Pocha Nostra and its founder Guillermo Gómez-Peña since 2002.

This event is part of a programme celebrating La Pocha Nostra’s extraordinary work on the occasion of the screening of 100 Ways to Cross the Border on July 9. You can see all the upcoming events here.


Ansuman Biswas has an international, inter-disciplinary practice which has included directing Shakespeare, translating Tagore, designing underwater sculptures in the Red Sea, living with wandering minstrels in India, being employed as an ornamental hermit in the English countryside, touring with Björk in New York, surviving blindfolded in an unknown place, travelling with nomadic shamans in the Gobi Desert, playing with Oasis, collaborating with neuroscientists in Arizona, living for a week with nothing but what spectators chose to give him, singing for 24 hours non-stop, organising grassroots activists in Soweto, trapping himself in a box for ten days with no food or light, creating a musical in a maximum security prison, doing R&D for Hewlett-Packard, being a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, bathing strangers, holding seminars in a Burmese monastery, running a nightclub for women on the Reeperbahn, being Musical Director at the Globe theatre, playing with terminally ill children, making a radio telescope sing and dance, being locked in a Gothic tower alone for forty days and nights, flying on a real, live, magic carpet, and stopping time. Ansuman is Lecturer in Live Art and Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary University of London and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. He has designed academic programmes in Arts and Ecology at Dartington and Schumacher Colleges, and in socially engaged practice at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His key research interests are in improvisation and meditation. Ansuman is a Trustee of Longplayer, Invisible Dust, and the Live Art Development Agency.

Access information

LADA and The Garrett Centre are wheelchair accessible by lift and provide gender inclusive bathrooms.

Should you have any particular access requirements, please email [email protected] and we will be happy to offer further support.

Banner image credit:

Ansuman Biswas, Yara El-Sherbini, Juan Ybarra-Ysunza, and Stacey Makishi at Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s Ex Centris masterclass as part of Live Culture at Tate Modern, 2003.

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