The mermaid café is a creative collective made up of Joanna Ward and Ruari Paterson-Achenbach.
As a group, they aim to think towards, and imagine the potentials of, a contemporary compositional-curatorial-performative artistic practice which is radical, feminist, queer, antiracist, anticapitalist, anticolonial; resistive in concept and practice. They have a postmodern, referential artistic vision, infused with playfulness, and inspired by a joyful mix of the musical and extra-musical. They love musical practices that have a point of view and are oriented towards the body: riot grrl, northern soul, queer cabaret, free jazz, fluxus. Their creative work is explicitly influenced by their research and activism, engaging with things like experimental novels, free green spaces, the black radical tradition, the (non)semiotics of shape and of colour... Through all of these interests, they want to create sites for sonic resistance, and to reject traditional power structures inherent in composer/performer/audience relationships.