Travis Alabanza is a performance artist, theatre maker, poet and writer that works and survives in London, via Bristol. Their multidisciplinary practice uses a combination of poetry, theatre, sounscapes, projection and body-focussed performance art to scream about their survival as a Black, trans, gender-non-conforming person in the UK. Growing up on a council estate in the outskirts of a city, Alabanza prides themselves on a practice that is messy, abrupt, confrontation, atypical and self-taught, often using performance to provoke a strong emotion [and action] from their audiences. In the last two years Alabanza has cemented themselves as one of the most prominent emerging queer artists in the UK (As noted by Dazed, Prancing Through Life and MOBO) and has performed, talked and toured across numerous UK venues as well as internationally, to acclaim reviews.
First appearing in Poetry circles and becoming Published in the Black and Gay in the UK Anthology in 2015, Alabanza then toured and showcased their debut show ‘Stories of a Queer Brown Muddy kid’ across queer clubs and venues such as the RVT, Hackney Attic, Keble arts Festival and selling out Housman’s bookstore. In 2016 Alabanza continued to perform across multiple events and venues across the UK and abroad, touring lectures and performances to over 40 UK universities during LGBTQ+ and Black History month, as well as giving national talks on issues surrounding Blackness and Queerness at places such as the V&A and Bristol Watershed.
Their work was programmed at events such as Duckie, Bar Wotever, And What! Festival, Late at Tate, The V&A and Transmission Gallery. Alabanza also starred in Scottee’s Five Star, Roundhouse production ‘Putting Words in Your Mouth’, as well as becoming one of the 2016/17 Artist in Residences at the Tate Britain. In 2017 Alabanza is working on their solo exhibition ‘The Other’d Artist’ for Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, the sold out opening of their new show BURGERZ at Hackney showroom, supporting artists such as mykki blanco and aloe vaid-menon and has just finished completing a short US college tour with their work. Outside of making art, Alabanza enjoys discussing internet culture, memes, hair braiding, and dancing with other black people.