World After This One: A Performance by Benji Hart

Event Type
Event Description

In this 2024 premiere, interdisciplinary artist Benji Hart’s World After This One uses movement and spoken word to examine how Black people have historically reclaimed the materials of empire to construct portals to impossible futures. Looking through the lenses of three Black art forms—the queer street style of vogue, the Afro-Boricua dance and drumming tradition of bomba, and gospel music—World After This One blurs the lines between the secular and the sacred, celebration and mourning, the past and the yet-to-pass, imagining Black liberation not as a metaphor, but a possibility.

This performance will be followed by a talkback with dancer, singer, and educator Ivelisse Díaz.

The premiere of World After This One will take place across three different weekends at three venues, culminating at the LookOut Series at Steppenwolf. To see the full list of performances, visit


Benji Hart is an interdisciplinary artist, author, and educator whose work centers Black radicalism, queer liberation, and prison abolition. Their words have appeared or are forthcoming in anthologies from Oxford University Press, Beacon Press, Haymarket Books, Pluto Press, and have been published at Time, Teen Vogue, The Advocate, The Funambulist Magazine, and elsewhere. They have led popular education and arts-based workshops for organizations internationally, including Project NIA, Forward Together, SisterSong, and Dissenters, and presented at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the American Repertory Theater, the National Museum of African American History & Culture, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Their performances have been featured at the Poetry Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Den Frie, and Museo del Chopo. They have received fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and are a Kistenbroker Family Artist in Residence at the Lab School.

Ivelisse “Bombera de Corazón” Diaz was born and raised in Humboldt Park, the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. She is a founding member and lead vocalist of Bomba con Buya and director of the all-women assemble Las BomPleneras. In 2009, La Escuelita Bombera De Corazon was founded out of Ivelisse’s commitment to Black and Indigenous art education and her first-hand experiences of Bomba’s revolutionary power. With a vision at the intersection of art education and social justice, La Escuelita Bombera De Corazon’s bombastic pedagogy forms in-person and virtual sessions into a batey of embodied learning, reciprocity, healing, and remembrance. For her unique artistry, educational expertise, and community organizing, Ivelisse Diaz was awarded the 3Arts Make a Wave Award in 2017 and the prestigious 3Arts Award in 2019. Almost 30 years since her first day of class with her Tio Eli, Ivelisse chooses to encounter the drum daily as a student, creative artist, community organizer, proud Boricua de Chicago, and most importantly, a mother to her dearest daughter Amaya.

Running Time
2 hours
Dance Styles


La Escuelita Bombera de Corazón

3505 W North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 441-1650