Diaka Kaba- Artist StatementI was born in Bamako, Mali and immigrated to Williamsburg, Brooklyn when I was eight. Growing up as one of the few Africans in my community, I always felt I had to somehow cover up being West African. Hide my culture: the sounds, smells, and customs. As an adult, my art searches to reclaim these buried parts of my identity, both as an African and as an immigrant American. The medium I choose to express myself is theater and occasionally film. As an artist working in theater, my primary focus is to show that theater is a catalyst for change. My ultimate desire is to move and intrigue an audience. I am interested in performing work that inspires people in a positive way. Specifically, work that will stimulate social awareness and activism through theater. Currently, I am a New York City based actor, and educator. As an artist I draw inspiration from my experience as a Creative Arts Team Youth Theater(CAT YT) member. During high school and a member of CAT YT, I created work that allowed me to be seen and heard through the method of improvisation. I performed monologues and scenes about identity and self-esteem. This helped me deal with my own identity issues and made me want to do the same for others. In the last few years, I have turned to the pursuit of creating drama with young people. I participated in playwriting festivals and workshops where I performed 5th, 6th, and 7th grade plays. Through my acting their work was brought to life. Ultimately, performing gives me the opportunity to reach out to strangers through storytelling. So as a performer, and creator that is what I am passionate about. In the future, I hope to get many opportunities to be a storyteller on stage and in film.