A screening of Marlon Riggs’ Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret) (38 min.), followed by a performance from Kiyan Williams, a presentation by Ni’Ja Whitson, and a conversation moderated by Tavia Nyong’o

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Picture1Left: Performance by Ni’Ja Whitson, photo by Scott Shaw. Middle: Marlon Riggs, photo by Ron Simmons. Right: Performance by Kiyan Williams, photo by Heather Kresge.



Artists Ni’Ja Whitson and Kiyan Williams will perform and present their work in response to Riggs’ declarative, affirmative practice through a screening of his film Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret), 25 years after its creation. Williams will stage a performance titled “Reflections in BlaQ,” that activates black queer and trans archives as part of their ongoing engagement with Riggs’ writings and films. Whitson will present their work and research from A Meditation on Tongues, a live interdisciplinary adaptation of the artist-educator-activist’s iconic film Tongues Untied (1989). Following the screening, performance, and presentation, a conversation between Williams and Whitson, moderated by Tavia N’yongo, will address Riggs’ work and legacy. The event will center contemporary conversations across the gender non-conforming spectrum, highlighting testimony and performativity as central to combating the ongoing rampant whitewashing of HIV/AIDS narratives.

Sponsored by a Humanities New York Vision/Action Grant.


Ni’Ja Whitson (MFA) is a Los Angeles and New York based award-winning interdisciplinary artist, performer, and writer who has been referred to as “majestic” and “powerful” by The New York Times and noted by Brooklyn Magazine as a cultural influencer. Whitson engages a nexus of postmodern and African Diasporic performance practices, intersecting gender, sexuality, race, and spirit, receiving recognitions across disciplines. Recent awards include residencies and fellowships with Hedgebrook, LMCC Process Space, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the Bogliasco Study Center in Italy. They are currently an Assistant Professor at UC Riverside and the founder/artistic director of The NWA Project.

Kiyan Williams is a multidisciplinary artist and writer whose work explores Black queer identity. They create performances, texts, objects, images, sounds, and installations informed by autoethnography, archival research, and social practice. Williams’ performance is based on their ongoing research in Marlon Riggs’ archives at Stanford University. You can learn more about their work at kiyanwilliams.com.

Tavia Nyong’o is Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, and Theater Studies at Yale University. His research and teaching interests include black queer studies, and the legacy of pioneering black queer artists and activists such as Assotto Saint, Essex Hemphill, and Marlon Riggs. His first book The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (Minnesota, 2009) won the Errol Hill Award for best book in African American theatre and performance studies. He is completing a study of fabulation in black aesthetics while also embarking on another on queer logics of sense.