Jade Montserrat is a UK based research-led artist and writer. She will be using her Residency at Metal in Southend for structured research, reflection, the development of ideas-to-date in relation to “Josephine and the Rainbow Tribe.” This will include the development of script in preparation of film and accompanying text deriving from empirical and historical excavation.
Jade began collating ideas for ‘Josephine and the Rainbow Tribe’ initially for a paper presented at Durham University on International Women’s Day at a conference entitled Literary Dolls, whereby she discussed Josephine Baker, her interest in her as a Black celebrity and the intersections between race, gender, class, mass identity and celebrity culture today. The research includes an enquiry into the balance between how she enabled ownership of her body and persona, the representations and possible manipulations of her body combined with an unapologetic quest for equality and freedom. Essentially the project is looking at radical approaches to freedom: of expression, of speech, to actively participate as community. The scope of the project is broader than Josephine Baker – as broad as the Rainbow Tribe which Jade is using as a metaphor and in terms of the word Tribe, a paradox – covering sex and sexuality, desire, race, class, celebrity, mass identity, colonialism, art history, museums, archives, the role of recording and preserving history.