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The Ideal Life by Yos Clark

Sat 15th Jun 2024, 6:30pm


Location: Nottingham
Venue: Nottingham Contemporary

Ivorian multidisciplinary artist Yos Clark presents The Ideal Life, their solo show at Nottingham Contemporary.

This autobiographical dance performance explores themes of queerness and belonging whilst feeling at times an outcast to their Côte d’Ivoire heritage.


Yos gives an insight into his experience living in Côte d’Ivoire:

“Growing up in Côte d’Ivoire, noticing at age 5 that I was different in my tastes and people I fancied, it was obvious that I was gay. My whole life growing up in Côte d’Ivoire, I’ve had to pretend or just not engage in any conversations around relationships or sexuality, fearing to be discovered. In school, I would see my class peers being bullied for being very feminine. I was too, but I knew how to hide this especially where and when. That got me away from trouble and kept me safe my whole life there. I remember always using my strength from watching WWE on TV, to challenge the bullies by either beating them at arm wrestling or stopping their body by using real wrestling techniques, not ever having any fighting knowledge.

As I grew older and got into ballet, the bullying started again, both online and in real life. I was always trying to find excuses to be validated by people. I was even asked on national TV if I was gay because I was doing ballet. Me answering that question, would have probably been the end of my life, from being beaten in the streets or disowned by either my father or my mother. So again, I had to hide away and lie for my safety. When I left my family started living independently, I became a more myself, still within the limitations but I was free to be me. In the meantime, some of my friends were having a hard time, either being beaten or worse, one of my friends had his finger chopped off on a night out.

Over the years, Côte d’Ivoire became more and more tolerant towards gay people, and I would say it’s the best country to be yourself in by far in west Africa, still within limits. But most of my friends due to either their families or religion, still find themselves (true self) trapped under the lie they created to protect themselves. Even when living abroad, away from their families’ eyes, they still fear to be discovered. They would even go and get married to get any suspicion away from them and still live their lie”.

This event is part of Transition + Transit, curated by Dwayne Church-Simms: a collection of works that explore movement, change, the stories we share and the objects that define our past, present, and future. Transition + Transit is FABRIC’s contribution to Transform, a City Takeover, a collaboration with New Art Exchange and Backlit, Bonington Gallery, Broadway, City Arts, FABRIC, Lakeside Arts, New Perspectives Theatre, Nottingham City of Literature, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Playhouse, Primary, Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall and UK New Artists.

Key Information


60 mins

Free Event £0.00
In Categories
All Ages
Events and Performances

Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross

Nottingham, NG1 2GB


15 Jun 2024


Yos Clark
Yos Clark
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