Natasha Davis is a performance and visual artist who creates poetic and challenging interdisciplinary material exploring body, memory, identity and migration. Her work is non-linear and based on rigorous research and interpretation of personal histories. She was born in Croatia and is now based permanently in London.
Her solo performances, films, installations and site-specific work have been presented at theatres, galleries and festivals in the UK (National Theatre Studio, Chelsea Theatre London, Birmingham Rep Door, Barbican Plymouth, Playhouse Derry, Capstone Liverpool and many others) and internationally (Project Arts Centre Dublin, Point Centre for Contemporary Art Nicosia/Cyprus, Cummings Gallery Palo Alto/California, JNU New Delhi etc).
She has also worked as a producer and curator, working with artists such as Akram Khan, Guy Dartnell, Marisa Carnesky and others.
Natasha is a doctoral candidate at the University of Warwick at the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies where she is also co-teaching and leading creative workshops on the MA in International Performance and manages student placements. A visiting lecturer at Birkbeck and Brunel, she has delivered talks and workshops across the world, from Buffalo to Tokyo, Grenoble and Hydra in Greece.
Natasha’s current scholarly and practice-as-research considers the trauma of displacement and its role in contemporary performance and live art, the growing number of artists creating seminal work in this area, and identity as a cultural experience.
Her theoretical research addresses the historical context of contemporary intermedial work around identity; specific artists creating work in this area today; autobiographical performance around body, memory and identity; how performance work in this area has changed over the last few decades and what identity might mean in the near future in a progressively migratory world.
Integral to Natasha’s research is always the imperative to use practice and performance making to explore critical issues around body as a permanent site of trauma, as well as ideas around crossing borders, embodied contradictions and transformations, memory and land.
Her embodied practice as performer informs her research as a subject inscribed through her own experiences of displacement and migration.
Between 1991 to 2001 various conflicts were fought on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The wars accompanied the breakup of the country and are generally considered to be a series of largely separate but related military conflicts occurring in and affecting most of the former Yugoslav republics, including Croatia and the multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In May 1997, Tony Blair’s Labour Government came to power on the back of a campaign promoting ‘New Labour, New Life for Britain’. The refugee housing and destitution crisis led to a Labour review of the asylum system, resulting in the publication of a 1998 White Paper ‘Fairer, Faster and Firmer – A Modern Approach to Immigration and Asylum’. The Labour Government spoke of ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’ but continued with a rhetoric of distinguishing ‘genuine’ refugees from ‘bogus’ asylum seekers. This paper formed the basis of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1999; this strengthened existing procedures, alongside introducing major innovations in the separation of asylum seeker support from mainstream welfare provision. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) was created to administer the new system.