Shaz Blakefield is a visual artist and performer under the pseudonym The Nightbus, utilising several aspects of identity and the subjective narrative generated by their intersects. A Muslim by birth and mind, Shaz interrogates society’s capacity to accept and champion queer identity, race and religion through the media of drag, film and spoken word, taking advantage of the rising popularity of such art forms to at first disarm audiences before presenting questions and stories which seek to resonate on a human level with those unfamiliar with the subtlety of oppression in the Western world.
Recently, Shaz has showcased novel work in Europe and the United States, developing theatre style performances for a range of events promoting inclusivity, intersectionality and celebration of the diaspora. Skills applied in the process include empirical social research with communities, engagement with migrants and co-design. In 2017, Shaz was commissioned to develop 2 pieces for Manchester International Festival, supported using funding from Arts Council England.