[needing fewer words around me]

scroll down for more tho


4th August, Wilderness, England

17th August, hervisions, Arcade East, London

8th September, Lustwerande, Tilburg

13th September, London

11th October, Nottdance, Nottingham

28th November – 1st December, Barbican, London



slow burn (I Want You)

It’s low rumbling unruly states and navigating control internal external outside inside city streets and parks and bodies of water what is done and doing to you, to us, to me, for us, for you, for me. psychic landscapes laid out and all that tangled up complicity doing and done and how these things play out in the body-space arena. I say fragile unknown and precarious, a sanctuary though, for tending rage nurturing control / abandon this is survival work touching those tender spots of paranoia, flowering, resilient – this energetic environment, it is beautiful, I have always loved botanical gardens. (i am) [fury] a project that ruminates on care and what it is to be supported to grow, in cages, in pens, in traps…

FURY (current):

When I wake up and I am no longer a human being but a burning hormonic liquid mess given form by the cycles of the moon and my endocrine system, what then? I have to give back all names.

Heavy handed, we crush the moment



BASICTENSION (ongoing, 2017/18/19/20)

a love letter/a break up note to Contemporary Dance
I started this project wanting to make meditation tapes to calm my rampant alienation and to slow my racing thoughts but what does calm look like when you embody countless contradictions, conflicts and traumas and language can’t stretch to hold you and it was never your language anyway and you look out at the city and it is like your beating heart, complicated, congested and broken. Some things need to break and I don’t want space or distance but to assume my hybrid form right here. I want to break this space open. I want to be broken open, like Leeloo in The Fifth Element.

i ride in colour and soft focus, no longer anywhere (2017)

“in my hole in the basement, there are exactly 1,369 lights”

slow burn june 2019Heavy handed, we crush the moment_Hand protraitwww.anniefengphotography.comica-jjsmall-basictension-by-christa-holka-11feb18-0138webica-jjsmall-basictension-by-christa-holka-11feb18-0035webBASICTENSION2018_Mark BlowerScreen Shot 2017-09-03 at 15.19.33


Torchlight artist at Siobhan Davies Studios, 2019/20

an opportunity to focus on an evolving set of questions around the conditions of my work, reflecting on the collaborative, collective, co-led and curatorial through dancing, talking and exchange in various constellations. guided by an interest in the politics of boundaries, the mutable experience of edges, the impacts of the many cycles and systems of influence that inform bodies/minds and the overwhelm that can come from working to be sensitive to all this, I will be thinking about framing and methods for  dissemination, spending time considering and questioning ideas of ‘communication’ to support and open up conversations around practice and subjective experience that might lubricate making and moving and thinking. I will be looking at how these practices can be technologies for survival in some ways but questioning their practical use for living within existing oppressive systems. A particular interest is in how environments (living, object, concept, body, psychic) might be affected and transformed through the sharing of practices and the effect this then has on those practices and ourselves.
I will be using this time to look back at works I’ve made and practices I have been developing over recent years and use them, read them, as divining tools to discover responses to current questions in a period of ambivalence and unknowing. BASICTENSION is one specific project that holds this practice/activates this technology of allowing histories to surface through the body and through a cumulative, collective imaginary, in order to consider and reconsider systems of influence, taste and value.
Always with an interest in multiplying, widening and expanding to hold the overwhelm of simultaneous multiple realities, subjectivities and experiences – the hosted hosting hosts hosting – complicating the invitation and allowing for no single answers, no centre, no single focus, no ultimate value, no coherence, no forward or upwards trajectory just the informative navigating of shifting landscapes, atmospheres and tensions; a hope for the research methodology to embody and not only hold, the questions and curiosities of the researcher.

evening of reflection, June 2019

(I have been wanting to untangle this post-workshop feeling of over-exposure or hyper-sensitivity, to think about what it is to practice going into rooms and doing the work of getting your defences down and letting your internalised bullshit dissolve for a while, to be opening up and encouraging opening in others and then going back out into the world…

Fragment from conversation with Giorgia:

“hyper awareness is violence to myself / it is not a choice to be in a continual state of friction” 

What is this work and if it is survival work, why can it leave us feeling devastated? This is not necessarily a sign of growth or healing, or if it is a part of these processes, how can I/we support that? What do we do with it, how can we move through it? 

I guess I want to think together about/allow a being in, this wake, hitting up against hostile architectures that exist inside and around us.)

Pleasure Body, a space facilitated by Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin, June 2019

Oracular Practice with Irish Chan, Claudia Palazzo and Daniella Valz Gen, May 2019



48hours with Rowdy SS

Project O with Alexandrina Hemsley

Sounds 4 Survival with Phoebe Collings-James

unruly bodies with Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome

48hours, Last Yearz Interesting Negro and Rowdy SS. Commissioned by The Yard Theatre for NOW19 at The Yard, January 2019. Image credit Maurizio Martorana. 948hours, Last Yearz Interesting Negro and Rowdy SS. Commissioned by The Yard Theatre for NOW19 at The Yard, January 2019. Image credit Maurizio Martorana. 151B8A1E70-E9FA-4ACD-994A-DA38A6263F8BNew costumeProject O_Voodoo Image_Credit Jack Barraclough and Katarzyna PerlakBYBG-March-800x534BYBGtoiletshowLast Yearz Interesting Negro + Phoebe Collings-James_Wysing Polyphonic_Photo Wilf Speller_September 2018371150ED-27D7-4550-BB93-C45A76C165D1JJS_S4S_BorealisFernandaMunoz-Newsome with Jamila Johnson-Small_Something Orange_Palais de Tokyo_Image 5 by Ayka LuxDRAF - (X) A Fantasy_Dan Weill Photography-140_MGM6014_MGM6033


Feature by Vittoria Matteresse in CURA.31

On care and Fury1 for Virtually Reality, May 2019

Talking about Sounds 4 Survival on Stance podcast, March 2019

Interview on AQNB, September 2018

Jenn Joy for BOMB Magazine on i ride in colour and soft focus, no longer anywhere, September 2018

Matthew Collings for the Evening Standard on Someone wise once told me that you should just give people what they want… video work, March 2018

Interview with Emma Capps for i-D March 2017





I was given the name Jamila Johnson-Small and I am an artist and dancer born and based in London. Last Yearz Interesting Negro is a five year performance project.


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