Kama La Mackerel is a tio’tia:ke/Montreal-based performer, writer, poet, story-teller, curator and multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores aesthetic practices as forms of resilience, resistance and healing for marginalized communities. Using photography, film, textiles, prints, spoken word and digital arts, Kama’s work is both deeply personal and political, articulating an anti-colonial praxis through cultural production.
Kama is the co-founder of Qouleur, an annual arts festival that brings together queer and trans artists of colour; the founder and hostess of GENDER B(L)ENDER, Montréal’s only queer open stage that takes place every last Friday of the month; and she curates the annual anti-Valentine’s day cabaret, “Self-Love Cabaret: l’amour se conjugue à la première personne .” In the past, she has also curated SPEAK B(L)ACK, résistance//résidence, and along with Kai Cheng Thom, co-curated Home Invasion: Queers Shaking the Foundations of All White Houses in Halifax, NS.
Kama is deeply implicated in grassroots social justice movements around anti-oppression, anti-racism, trans liberation and gender justice. Kama runs workshops, gives talks and writes about love, spirituality, healing, colonial history and trans womanhood, amongst others! In 2016, Kama was featured by the CBC/Radio Canada as one of 9 women artists in Canada whose work is making a difference.
In the summer of 2016, Kama toured Europe with “From Thick Skin to Femme Armour,” her multi-media research-based project that seeks to visibilize and honour trans femme of colour resistance across history and in contemporary everyday life. She is presently an Artist in Residence of the P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in Education & the Arts at the Faculty of Education at McGill University.
Kama is presently working on her new one-woman spoken word show, My Body Is the Ocean, which she is also publishing as a lyric collection in late-2017, and she is also working on a photographic series, Breaking the Promise of Tropical Emptiness: positioning trans womanhood in the Mauritian postcard.
Kama was born in Mauritius and first immigrated to India as a young adult, before moving to Turtle Island/Canada in 2008. Kama has been living in tio’tia:ke/Montreal, on traditional kanien’kehá:ka territory since September 2011. A femme supreme who is haunted by the ocean, Kama loves drinking tea, reading poetry, taking care of her plants & spending time with her loved ones.