Olivia Kamil Smarr (she/her) is a Black, queer, emerging public theologian and movement artist. She combines traditional West African dance movements with contemporary Black American dance styles, using music spanning the African diaspora to show how ancestral rhythms survive in our bodies and are embedded within our spirits. Olivia explores, challenges, and creates innovative ways of spiritual engagement in this unique societal moment, conjuring revolution, power, magic, and passion through movement. She engages with a theology that transcends faith and views the body itself as divine and holy, embracing the connection of sensuality and spirituality. Olivia centers those with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and survivors of trauma, including religious trauma, in her work.
Olivia has performed at venues such as the Stanford University Bing Concert Hall and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CA. In 2017 she presented her research on Black female sexuality at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference. Olivia is a member of the 2020 cohort of the Arts Religion and Culture Emerging Leaders Fellowship. She has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and is currently enrolled in a Master’s program at Chicago Theological Seminary, exploring the arts as spiritual resistance to oppression.