Olivia Kamil Smarr
Olivia Kamil Smarr (she/her) is a Black queer mystic, public theologian and spiritual movement artist. She combines traditional West African dance with contemporary Black American dance styles, and incorporates 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—conjuring revolution, power, magic, and passion through movement. She engages with a theology that 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 a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Chicago Theological Seminary, and successfully defended her thesis “Revelations of Divine Love: A Womanist Embodied Mysticism” in 2021. Her research explores the intersections between movement, mysticism, and nature, from a queer eco-womanist theological lens.