Miss AmeriKa is both literature and performance

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The outstanding figure of Czech independent dance, Miřenka Čechová, presented her solo project Miss AmeriKa in May 2018. It was a rap and multimedia musical, in which she condensed her experience, impressions and observations from her art residence in New York.

Čechová created a fictional character of Mckenzie Tomski, who arrived in America to make her dream come true. The story from the New York underground is about a foreigner, who fell in love with a city, going through all stages of falling in love from astonishment to sobering up. In the symbolic space of the underground Miřenka Čechová develops a story about an American dream and the new kind of loneliness and estrangement of the digital age. Material for the production is encoded in texts, which were published by the wo-men publishing house in the Czech-English edition.

The book Miss AmeriKa is the work by Miřenka Čechová, photographer Vojtěch Brtnický and Malayan cartoonist Chin Yew. It contains 60 short texts in symbiosis with photographs and a cartoon depicting the character of McKenzie Tomski on her journey through New York. The heroine of the book is an illegal immigrant and misfit in New York, an inconspicuous and confessed spectator, a being of a liquid identity, who disturbs American clichés with ironic, dark and uncompromising humor. She gives likes, hates, snoops, imitates and is imitated. “Miřenka Čechová wrote a hip-hop litany, a travel book, anthropologic research and a poem, which is gnawing, funny and self-ironic. The style, rhythm of the narrative and language merge in a stirring flow. If you want to travel to New York with somebody, then it would be her McKenzie,” wrote Ondřej Nezbeda, the writer, journalist and Magnesia Litera winner. Spitfire Company has staged the scenic version of the book Miss AmeriKa in the Czech Republic or in Akko, Israel in two language versions – in Czech and English. According to the artistic director Petr Boháč, there are plans to enrich the multimedia project with live music.

The book is available at bit.ly/MissAmeriKa.