I am the Seed

A seed by: Jamila Joseph
Project: Main Pool
Jamila “Jai” Joseph is a dance performer/choreographer, singer/lyricist, actor & storyteller from Montreal/Tiohtiá:ke. Trained in Classical Ballet for over 15 years and Afro-Caribbean dance/Folk technique which she inherited and trains under her father, renowned Dance performer/Instructor Selwyn Joseph (Trinidad & Tobago) while her love for music, performance & writing comes from her mother, a former Black Theatre Workshop and La Belle Carib Montreal, member Paulette Armony (St. Kitts & Nevis). Past recipient of Black Theatre Workshops Victor Phillips award in 2003, it was a synchronic moment to be able to come back 16 years later playing the role of “Chloe”, in BTW’S mainstage production of ‘How Black Mothers’ Say I Love You’ written by Tre Anthony. Her ambition and talents also lead her to Toronto where she performed in Nicole Brooke’s Obeah Opera for both Fall for Dance North and again as part of Luminato’s Summer Festival. The last few years has brought exciting experiences. Jamila has participated in Playwright Workshop Montreal’s Dramaturgical Digital Residency, choreographed for The National Theatre Schools 2022 production of “Venus” by Suzan-Lori Parks and was a recipient of PWM and MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) 2022 Joint Support for Artists with her work in progress play, “Wild Roots”, a story of self-discovery and healing.


Music, Theatre, Interdisciplinary Arts, Dance, Storytelling
This is an original seed

This call and response chant is a folk tradition in many cultures and performed by many communities within the Caribbean. 

By saying “Aye Momma”, I am directly speaking, calling out to either a specific Ancestral Momma or the group of Momma’s who are willing to come forward. 

When I say “I Momma” I am calling out and stating that I am a direct descendent of the Mommas I am calling and for them to recognize me. 

It also brings me to remembering that I am them and they are me. We have walked the same paths and we plant the same seeds.

I was inspired to give a glimpse of how I imagine her, the warmth, the nature and how she and my other Ancestors inspire the stories I tell, the melodies I hum and the movements dance. This is a seed in germination. 


About “Tah Tah”…

She was born approximately 1930, she spoke French creole and we are uncertain if she was born in Trinidad or if she arrived there from a French speaking colony.

She was a hardworking, loving, and lovable woman; devoted Shango Baptist, she was fearless. Though I have not had the pleasure of meeting her in physical form I feel her close to me. She is apart of the fire inside my belly, the strength in my feet, the width of my heart, the shake in my hips. She has become the boombox to my sometimes-quivering voice. She helps me be brave, making me stand taller as all my Ancestors do.

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