Dir. Katrina Brook Flores
Assaman is a cosmic twin love story with the future. A man named Tukki meets a sky-being named Asé. Together, they become suspended in a visual and sonic examination in search of flourishing joy and self-care journeying to the universe within. Assaman means "the sky" in Wolof.
Katrina Brook Flores aka El La Katrina is a Queer Indigenous Xicanx multi-practice artist born in Wisconsin with ancestral roots to South Texas, Mexico, Ireland and Senegal among others with an artistic focus on storytelling through filmmaking, installation, music, movement and wearable design. El La Katrina’s directorial and production design debut film, ASSAMAN, was finished in February 2022 as part of their 2020 & 2021 Dark Matter Residency with Elastic Arts Foundation. During the residency Flores also produced, wrote and starred in a virtual healing and hope sonic theater project entitled SEED POLLINATE BLOOM in Fall 2020 addressing the impact of COVID-19 and the Social Uprisings during that time on Black, Indigenous and Black Indigenous communities. Since finishing their first film project in February 2022, ASSAMAN has already won 3 Awards and been an Official Selection for 4 live screenings at film festivals. ASSAMAN is a Wolof word for "the sky." El La Katrina developed ASSAMAN with their Cosmic Twin, Mamadou Lamine Diao aka Tukkiman a singer-songwriter from Dakar, Senegal. They met in 2019 performing at an Indigenous youth benefit concert in Chicago and a week later would learn they share blood ties to Senegal and were born within 24 hours of each other, thus self-identifying as Cosmic Twins.
Flores’ work addresses boundary-spanning, border-crossing, and binary-breaking. They address how colonial systems, gendered constructs and conquer & divide tactics have impacted Indigenous communities and natural ecosystems globally. Their work seeks to offer solutions, healing and hope toward a future rooted in joy and ancestral teachings. El La Katrina was founding Arts-In-Education Director for OMAI & FirstWave and Co-Director of Breakin’ The Law: International Festival of Urban Movement at UW-Madison. After moving to Chicago, they served as Community Programs Director at RedMoon Theater and B-Series co-curator at The Dance Center at Columbia College in Chicago. Before becoming a full-time artist in 2019, El La Katrina worked as the COO of The Firehouse Community Arts Center in the North Lawndale neighborhood to assist in building the capacities of the organization in their inaugural year of funding with the Chicago CRED Program to achieve a transformative reduction in Chicago gun violence with justice involved youth. Following El La Katrina’s 2020 & 2021 Dark Matter Residency with Elastic Arts Foundation in Chicago, they now serve on the curatorial board for the residency.