Meet Leeway x Headlong Artist in Residence:
Marcelline Mandeng



See below for more info about March 1st performance and March 2nd workshop




Who is Marcelline the artist and what would you like to share with the world through your art?

I evoke the archetype of fem flaneur but I love to dream of myself as a renaissance wo/man utilizing text/voice, choreography, sculpture, video and more recently music production to share my story. The past two years I developed performances around my growing spiritual/self care practice to transcend the worldly perception that my African ancestors’ practices were inherently baneful and/or purely evil. Though, I value some of the things I was taught in Christian church as a child I’ve always intuitively known these teachings were rooted in an African core value system lost in translation as a result of colonialism, there are gaps to be filled. I began closely working with a Black genealogist studying African indigenous migrations to Asia as well as Central & South America. They’ve been very instrumental to my studio practice, providing a lot of ancestral information that I’ve use to ground my inquiry into African-indigenous ritual practices.



Tell us about the performance you are having on March 1st?

FLOODGATE is the culmination of my two months long residency at Headlong. It is an immersive experience that unfolds in the two rooms I occupied while creating this work.On the night of March 1st, the first room you will experience is the meditation room transformed into an interactive altar space with two live performers. An aspect of the simulation involves a large scale sculpture made out of hand dyed blue lace fabric which is an abstraction of the river Nile’s waves. There will also be a lot of dirt in the space as well as an interactive library of oils and herbs that will be suspended from the ceiling. From the meditation room you will proceed to the dance studio where I will premiere the EP I’ve been working on since this past November. This will be my first time sharing songs I’ve not only produced but also wrote lyrics to. I will also be sharing a new video backdrop that I composed using found stock footage such as a very energizing video of Baka people of Cameroon using their hands to drum on water. Literally one of the coolest things I’ve found of the internet.



What was the inspiration for this piece?

I was inspired to make meditation music for Black people working in the spirit of artists like Alice Coltrane as well as Sun Ra and Babatunde Olatunji. I just wanted to make music that’s uplifting in a way that maybe triggers spiritual awakening in folks. The title of the [my] songs are Dreams, Sphinx, Elephant Tusks/KING Nzinga, Gerewol and Mi Yidi Ma which is how you say “I Love You” in Fula. The last one is an ode to my mothers.



Tell us about the workshop you are hosting on March 2nd

On March 2nd I will be sharing various recipes involving oils, salts and herbs that can be use for self care and manifesting abundance/prosperity. It’s an informal workshop, nothing too fancy, just having conversations with folks about my self care/spiritual practice.



To get tickets or register for the workshop, click here

Support for this micro residency was made in part by The Leeway Foundation:


Leeway Foundation supports women and trans artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. Through their grant-making and other programs they promote artistic expression that amplifies the voices of those on the margins, promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice.