Circus performer left high and dry as 'rock-it' car is seized

A Native American story-teller and circus performer could lose her income and self-built ‘rock-it car’ if she doesn’t raise enough money to save it from the scrapyard. Kerry Sudbury, who was born on the Choctaw Nation’s reservation in Oklahoma, says the vehicle not only provides her with an income but serves as a form of cultural expression.

Kerry, who moved to the UK with her English mother as a child, and lives in Coombe Dingle. She is set to perform with the car in two weeks at a small festival. But she has had to resort to a fundraiser to raise the £500 to save it and her caravans from the scrapyard.

She says that the council has mistaken the car, which was parked outside her home, for an abandoned vehicle.

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“I need money to get the car, the trailer that carries it and two caravans that I was taking to Bath Spa University where I'm artist in residence.

Kerry, who is due to appear at Glastonbury and Balter festivals this year, has been performing Native American storytelling and hoop dancing for over a decade. She built the car with The Mechanical Menagerie performers during the pandemic and now uses it in her 'seven fires prophecy' story-telling performance.

“In the performance I’m in New Mexico, hot and bothered, trying to save the world in an apocalyptic scene. I stop to take a drink and my grandfather appears and takes me on a hell of a ride on Road Runner, the Rock-it car to the four corners of the earth and reveals the seven fires prophecy,” explains Kerry.

Kerry, whose Native American father lives on a reservation in Oklahoma, said that she has faced prejudice for her heritage. While she loves the quietness of Coombe Dingle, she feels her lifestyle has often been misunderstood..

She said: “I’ve been called all kinds of names like ‘red-neck’ because of these caravans outside my house. Well I am a red-neck and I was born a red-neck. Because I’ve been penalised so much because of my ethnic minority background, I love hanging around with the Romanies, the travellers and the van dwellers and the boaters - all of the ones who don’t fit the system.

“I have a HGV licence and I know my rights that I am allowed to have the caravan on the road if I want to, there is nothing wrong with it at all. But 11 times over the past three years the council has tried to pick up my caravans and take them away, saying that they are abandoned vehicles.”

You can support her fundraiser here. Bristol City Council has been approached for a comment.