Crossing The Line Festival 2021

October 20–November 6

FIAF’s acclaimed annual arts festival, Crossing The Line, returns for an exciting 14th edition. This year’s program spotlights Africa’s cultural renaissance, and features works created by interdisciplinary artists coming out of the continent and diaspora.

Curators Courtney Geraghty and Claude Grunitzky have brought together a lineup of compelling artists to perform at venues throughout New York City—intriguing experiences that will spark new conversations about the global Black experience.

  • + Read Curators' Note
  • + Read about the Festival

Festival Program

Video Installation

Okwui Okpokwasili
& Peter Born
Before the whisper
becomes the word

On View
October 20–November 6, 2021

Exhibition Opening
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 6pm
Artist Talk at 7pm
FIAF Gallery

Working across media and disciplines, Igbo-Nigerian American artist Okwui Okpokwasili in collaboration with director Peter Born has conceived a room-sized video installation that investigates themes of remembrance, community mourning, and history.

Audio Work

nora chipaumire

US Premiere
In-Person Listening Marathon
Saturday, October 30, 2021, from 11am–4:30pm
Artist Talk at 5pm
FIAF Tinker Auditorium
Online Broadcast
October 20–November 6, 2021

Created during the pandemic, Nehanda is based on a legend of a spirit venerated by the Shona people, native of Zimbabwe and central Mozambique. nora chipaumire brings together instruments and musicians from around the world to evoke the story of atrocities against indigenous communities in British-occupied Southern Rhodesia.

Outdoor Performances

Okwui Okpokwasili
& Peter Born
On the way, undone

Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 7:30pm
Friday, October 22, 2021 at 7:30pm
Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 7:30pm
Weeksville Heritage Center

Igbo-Nigerian American artist Okwui Okpokwasili and director Peter Born have designed an in-situ work that blends genres and media. Performers manifest a polyphonic chorus wearing sculptural headdresses that recall traditional West African hairstyles, exploring a sonic entanglement that summons the past to envision the future.



Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 7:30pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Grammy-nominated singer Somi uses her songwriting to give voices to issues of social justice, transnationalism, womanhood, and global constructions of Blackness. For her debut at FIAF, she will perform some of her most iconic songs and give us a sneak preview of her upcoming album.


Christopher Myers
Fire in the Head

World Premiere
Friday, October 29, 2021 at 7:30pm
Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 7:30pm
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Event Cancelled

A world premiere staged in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Fire in the Head salutes the tortured genius of the pathbreaking dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky, who, like many artists today, grappled with the confluence between global and personal crises.

Performance (Work-in-Progress)

Kaneza Schaal

Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 7:30pm
Friday, November 5, 2021 at 7:30pm
Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 5 & 7:30pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall
Recommended for Ages 12+

Kaneza Schaal exorcises the ghost of King Leopold II through a mytho-biographical performance. She addresses the residue of colonialism in our everyday lives in this showcase of her multimedia work in progress KLII.

Leadership Festival Support

Festival Support

Production at FIAF
Programming Manager: Clementine Guinchat