The Last Seven Years

Jay Bernard

Bold Tendencies
01 September 2023

The Last Seven Years

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For one night only, Jay Bernard presented an experimental performance informed by the voices of people across the UK who opened up to the artist about the last seven years.

In collaboration with Musarc, one of the UK’s foremost experimental choirs and multi-instrumentalist Petero Kalulé (petals), a performance was devised that presents memories of people across the UK from the post-Brexit landscape, and thoughts on how they and the country have changed.

Bernard’s work spans poetry, audio-visual media, graphic illustration, theatre-making, archiving, and film programming. Their work brings together personal recollections with grand political narratives presenting themes of injustice, queerness, family relationships and state surveillance, in critical and unexpected ways.

The Last Seven Years was presented in collaboration with Bold tendencies.

About the artist

Jay Bernard

Jay Bernard (FRSL FRSA) is a writer from London. Their work is interdisciplinary, critical, queer, and rooted in the archive. They won the 2018 Ted Hughes Award for Surge: Side A, a cross-disciplinary exploration of the New Cross Fire in 1981.

Jay’s short film Something Said has screened in the UK and internationally, including Aesthetica and Leeds International Film Festival (where it won best experimental and best queer short respectively), Sheffield DocFest and CinemAfrica. Jay is a programmer at BFI Flare, an archivist at Mayday Rooms and resident artist at Raven Row. Their first collection, Surge, is out with Chatto and Windus in 2019.

In 2020 Jay was selected to be a part of Thinking Time, an initiative that supported early-career artists to research, reflect, and develop their ideas.

A black and white waist high photograph of the artist Jay Bernard

Photo by Joshua Virasami

About the performers

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Joseph Kohlmaier

Joseph Kohlmaier is the founder of Musarc and has acted as creative director for the ensemble since 2008. Joseph’s interdisciplinary practice, which brings together performance, research and teaching, curatorial projects, design, and publishing, has been a driving force in the development of the choir and the foundation of its open, experimental and research-led approach. Joseph is Associate Professor in Critical and Contextual Studies at the School Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, and the founding director of graphic design practice Polimekanos (2001–2020).


Petero Kalulé (petals)

Petero Kalulé (petals) – she/they – is a composer, poet, and multi-instrumentalist living on the hidden river Effra in London. She is the author of Kalimba (Guillemot Press), Marsh-River-Raft-Feather (Guillemot Press co-authored with Clarissa Álvarez), and the forthcoming new manuscript & glee & bless. Find their music on bandcamp.


Miha Brebenel, 2023. At The Rose Hill, Brighton.

Elizabeth Chan

Elizabeth is a performer and writer. Her work spans stage, screen, dance, radio, video games, audiobooks and art installations. Selected performance credits include Chimerica (Almeida/West End), Macbeth, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (National Theatre), Dear Elizabeth (Gate), The Letters Project (writer and performer, Gate), and Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse). She has most recently collaborated as writer and performer with Musarc member Sam Belinfante on a short film for the Sir John Soane's museum and is working on a film trilogy based around land, language and belonging. She was awarded a London Writers Award in 2021 and a Clore Fellowship 2022.


Andre Castellucci

Ilenia Cipollari

Ilenia is an actor and singer with expertise in physical theatre and choral singing. She collaborated with the multi-instrumentalist African musician Sona Jobarteh, the male polyphonic ensemble A Filetta, the jazz singer Anna Maria Jopek, composer Jennifer Walshe, and musician Neil Luck, to name a few. She performed at the International Festival of Chamber music in San Paulo (Brazil), at Yale University on the occasion of Yale Repertory Theater’s NO BOUNDARIES performance series (USA), at Tbilisi International Theater Festival (Georgia), at Battersea Arts Center (London), at Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), at Tramway art venue (Glasgow), at several editions of BRAVE festival in Wroclaw and many venues throughout Poland and Italy. With a practice-based PhD scholarship at UAL (2027), London, she will conduct an inquiry into how questions of care, connection, and shared intimacy intersect in contemporary live music performance. Member of Musarc experimental choir since 2019.


Photo by Yiannis Katsaris

Jeni Be

Jeni Be creates and collaborates to connect. Her practice seeks to disrupt and imagine alternatives to the current state of things. Drawing on asset-based community development, punk DIY philosophy and deep listening practice, her work reflects her belief in the power of art to create beautiful change together, in partnership. Interwoven and alongside her artistic practice, she works in child rights advocacy and programming for the UN and, occasionally, in film production. Jeni is experienced in appreciating the natural voice and exploring ways to approach and enjoy collective singing and performance. She has received tuition in extended vocal technique, the operatic voice, enhanced creative facilitation and influence & rapport with audiences, including through Meredith Monk's The House Foundation. She sings and performs with Musarc, with her queer fam F*Choir, on her bike and with bands including Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business and Trash Kit. Jeni writes poetry and sometimes shares it.


Image by blublueneonglow @ Daylight Music 2021

Loren McK 

Loren McK is an artist and writer based in the UK who is building their practice around community, queerness and conversation. Their movement and performance practice has most recently seen them share “let’s ride” at Duckie and Solo “Lesbian Dance Theory: part 1” at Resolution 2023. Loren is interested in performing works which articulate experiences to help us better understand, uplift or challenge the communities we navigate within.


Photo by Rocio Chacon

Raphel Famotibe

Raphel is an artist and actor from South East London who graduated from RADA in 2021. Raphel recently wrote and put on a production called I Love Acting But Fuck This Industry at Theatre Peckham. Raphel is a life activist and sports fanatic.


Photo by Clare Park

Rozhina Ghasemizadeh

Rozhina is an artist, musician and writer from Iran. Rozhina first performed in theatres when she was 13 years old before becoming a part of various collectives and participating in performances in Tehran, Wrocław and London, including street theatre performances in Wrocław, Poland. Rozhina says, "Street performance makes theatre and music accessible for everybody. The audiences don't necessarily choose to be there to watch my performance, which makes the experience a very unique one. Theatre is not only about performers; it is also about the audience and the magical connection they have with the performers."


Image credit: Beyond the Box

Serena Braida

Serena Braida works in voice, text and performance, exploring the interrelations between the materiality of language and the body, with a focus on reading aloud as editorial and generative practice and on poetics of breath. A chorister from the age of 6, she has performed extensively and studied jazz and experimental singing before earning her MFA in Voice Studies. She has given solo and collaborative performances at the European Poetry Festival: Ireland, Christie's Lates, SLANT: Voiceworks and the Bucharest International Poetry Festival, among others.


Photo by Michael O'Mahony

Temitope Ajose

Temitope has staged works at venues such as The Royal Opera House, The Place, DanceXchange, RichMix, Dancebase and the Soho Joyce (New York). As a dancer, Temitope has worked with Punchdrunk, Director Carrie Cracknell at The Gate Theatre and The National, Theo Clinkard, Protein Dance Company, Lea Anderson, Joe Moran,Seke Chimutengwende, and Lost Dog to name a few. She performs for visual artists Florence Peake, Adelaide Cioni and Megan Rooney. Temitope also engages in movement direction (Old Vic and National Theatre) and for artist Megan Rooney on her solo shows, at Kunsthalle Germany, Salzburg  Kunstverein and  The Lyon Biennale. Temitope continues to make her own work ‘My Name is my Own’  at The Southbank with director Jo Tyabji in collaboration with critically acclaimed writer Jay Bernard, and her solo work Lady M (at home with Lady Macbeth) commissioned by The Place, which premiered May 2023.


Photo by Camilla Greenwell

Thomas Boudier

Thomas was born in France. He studied agronomics and engineering before moving to Britain 8 years ago, just prior to the general election in 2015 that eventually led to Brexit. He went to Cours Florent drama school in Paris, then RADA in London, and he’s been a member of Musarc for the past couple of years. Thomas just became a naturalised Brit. He’s quite preoccupied by the climate catastrophe, the current stage of capitalism, various threats to queer rights, and the rise of nationalism. He enjoys a bike ride, a hike in the woods or through cities, a trip to the theatre, cooking and eating, playing the piano, and overthinking.


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Who made this possible?

Presented by Artangel and Bold Tendencies.

Artangel is generously supported by Arts Council England and the private patronage of the Artangel International Circle, Special Angels, Guardian Angels and The Company of Angels.