Contact at STUN, Manchester.
20 October 2018.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of Manchester’s Market Street, the shoppers, newspaper-sellers, musicians and street preachers, are the mobile vendors. Every inch of their wheeled carts is covered with phone covers, toys, gadgets and balloons, and the bright multi-coloured nature of their goods makes them hard to miss. We’re aware people are pushing the carts, but do we really see them?
Elmi Ali’s new show Water Seeds Not Stones is inspired by those anonymous on-the-move sellers. However while they tout cheap mass-produced tat, he proffers books and stories, and his character Mamamawodi isn’t going to get lost in any crowd soon.
Sporting a sharp three-piece check suit, sandals and rainbow-hued socks, he pushes a big wooden cart around the stage, its sides fitted with shelves to display his many books. With a strut in his step, he engages us immediately with salesman-like confidence.
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