PERFORMER Kafayat Adegoke is staging a powerful live art installation tackling gender inequality and sexism.

As part of Bradford’s Fringe Festival, the piece, called Orisha, was inspired by Bradford Council’s initiative to name more streets and public spaces after women to recognise female achievement and further improve the gender balance around the Bradford district in honouring historical figures

Orisha means deity among the Yoruba people of south-west Nigeria, where Kafayat is from.

In the installation she draws upon a survey she carried out among women in Bradford, using voice recordings to tell their stories.

“It tells of how sexism has affected them personally, maybe at work or at home,” she explains. “For some of the women, it begins in the cradle, with a child being raised in a gender-specific way. ‘Oh you are a girl, you should be in the kitchen cooking…’ It is about beliefs within society.”

She adds: “Things are changing. It is about tackling a mindset. I am not criticising in my piece - it is a critique.”

Kafayat is curating the stories alongside exhibits at the event, held at the Eyes Brewing in Rawson Road. Members of the public, both men and women, are being invited to a workshop to create crafts to put on show, which “shout at you about sexism”, on August 12 at Cecil Green Arts in Darley Street. “Anyone interested in art and craft can come along,” she says.

Staging the piece in a brewery is significant. “It is site-specific - an indirect attempt to touch upon the misogyny and gendered stance of ‘think beer - think men.’ Men are normally associated with pints of beer, yet more than 75 per cent of the staff here are women.” Large suffragette puppets will be present at the installation.

Kafayat, who honed her acting skills in Nigeria before studying for a degree in film and television at Leeds Trinity University followed by an MA in performance at Leeds Beckett University, will be present as part of the installation, in a role as OSUN, the senusual Yoruba goddess of love, purity and fertility.

The performer, actor and storyteller, who lives in Bradford, is involving local businesses in the production, working alongside Bradford Council, Bradford Fringe, Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company and Pearls Tea Room & Patisserie. She is also being helped by FAST Security Services.

“I want to create a sense of community and a networking space. It is very much about ‘Bradfordness,” adds Kafayat.

The project follows a successful one-woman show in January at the Tetley Art Gallery in Leeds, entitled PER-SO-NA, an immersive theatre piece centered around “a Yoruba Nigerian girl who isn’t so Nigerian.”

*Orisha is taking place at Eyes Brewing, 22-24 Rawson Road on Sunday September 1 from 4pm to 7pm. It is free. Drinks and food are available, free. The free workshop is on August 12 at Cecil Green Arts, Darley Street.

*Anyone with any questions or enquiries about the show can ring or text 07438826921. Helen Mead