Actor Tarik Davis recently made an impassioned statement about being the superheroes we wanted to see. As a child, superheroes were extraordinary others who made tsunami impacts on the lives of people. As an adult, I understand the capes and abilities and personal conflicts as remarks on just how ordinarily allegorical superheroes are. As creative creators, we should all strive to use our own 'superpowers' in the profession that suits our strengths for growth, collaboration, and inspiration for others. Wi-Moto Nyoka, put her rings in music, motion, and illustration together to create The Last Days of Kartika. The "motion comic performance art installation" follows Dusky Diana, a fierce freedom fighter whose mission is "to rescue her kid sister from the sinister clutches of the Phercy Corporation" and ultimately, be an activist that rids society of "passivity, complacency, apathy, sexism, racism, boredom and overall negligence."
Nyoka in her own words responds firmly to the active change-agent philosophy; "I wanted to discuss what and who a superhero is. Their function in society and especially the ways in which they inspire us to bravely assert our own narratives. Authorship is power; sorcery," Nyoka explains. "Whether it's a superhero, an anti-hero, a complicated villain or a straight up myth, who is telling the story is tantamount. They determine the value system in the narrative and this is some potent juju. In our currently sociopolitical climate the concept of a superhero is a strategy for perseverance, healing and survival."
Who are Wi-Moto Nyoka's personal superheroes? "As I move forward in my artistic practice I am constantly moved by the actions of my family members and my community. Both of my parents are activists in both big and small ways. I never really gave it much consideration growing up as it was just how things were. Now, I have surrounded myself with other artists whose work is simultaneously creative expression and social activism. I know that has everything to do with my parents."
Look out for more projects from Nyoka that expand on her use of genre elements for social change. "I am also working on a play that uses the horror genre as a means to explore second class citizenship in our society, I am continuing to work on the live aspects of The Last Days of Kartika (there's a staged show and some performance art that goes with the series) and I'm also writing and directing an action short."
Check out Dusky Diana in all nine episodes of The Last Days of Kartika here!
Wi-Moto Nyoka is a performer and transmedia artist. Her awards and honors include the Tanzhaus NRW Interdisciplinary Works artist in residence 2011, Puffin Foundation grant recipient 2012, the Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival 2014 selected librettist, Indie Boots Theater Festival Finalist & Audience Award Honorable Mention 2015, A.R.T/New York Creative Space Grant recipient 2016. She holds a BFA in music theater from the University of the Arts and is currently attending the Brooklyn College MFA program for Performance & Interactive Media Arts. (Source)