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a ( ) wake for water

a ( ) wake for water 

Created across six weeks of play, experimentation, and conversation, this new production invites witnesses to share in Miles Mitani Tokunow’s and keegan james sarmiento kloer’s ongoing study of race, water, and body. Guided by wisdom from Indigenous liberation movements and teachings from Afro-pessimism, and animated by Butoh, the performers improvise movement and music along a shifting emotional landscape which ends in shared song. Offered as a wake, the performance challenges and empowers our collective capacity to hold grief, despair, and love.


How can we honor the systemic loss and perpetual mourning endured by Black bodies and bodies of water?

  • CREATED AND PERFORMED by Miles Mitani Tokunow & Keegan James Sarmiento Kloer

  • PRODUCED by Sarah Ashkin

  • CREATED FOR/WITH The Tannex, Albueruque, NM; etiquette, Santa Fe, NM​ 

  • PHOTOS by Elliot Fisher, Sarah Ashkin and Zoe Koke

a ( ) wake collaborator bios

KEEGAN JAMES SARMIENTO KLOER starts in fits, arts in bits, and is utterly grateful for the opportunity to continue unlearning, for the ever-unfurling sky, and for you. special thanks: my family, this community, Albuquerque, and New York City and to Miles for this wonderful invitation.

accountability practice + partners

a ( ) wake for water explores loss as an ongoing experience of Blackness and water.  In the making of this work, Miles, Keegan and Sarah read, discussed, and created movement and music scores based on texts that explore our ongoing water crisis through Afro-pessimism and Indigenous perspectives. Pre-performance, Miles led a movement workshop along the Rio Grande, helping audience members move and sense into racialized and environmental grief. Once the audience had arrived at the performance venues, the artists invited participants to share feelings, stories, and memories with one another about meaningful waters lost. All funds gathered at both performance events went straight to Tewa Women United, a group of water protectors in Northern New Mexico. 

  • The Tannex

  • etiquette​​

land acknowledgement

a ( ) wake for water was made for and on Tiwa and Tewa territories.  Deep thanks to local Native water protectors Nick Estes, Beata Tsosie Pena, and Tewa Women United for their guidance in the making of this work. 

00:00 / 04:06
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