If We Came From Nowhere Here, Why Can’t We Go Somewhere There? is a photography and video-based exhibit charting journeys into temporality, ﬂux, and Afrofuturism as explored by self-identified women of black/African descent.
A Non-Exhaustive Index of Possible Concepts/Explorations Aberration of time and temporal jam ups, Abductions, Alienation, Alloplastic adaptations, Altered States, Apocalypse, Apparitions, Archive Barcodes, Blackness./:/;/&/!/?, Bodies Capitalism, Chopped & Screwed, Civilization, Colonialism, Color, Cosmology, Cyber Desired histories, Dislocation, Dystopia Echo, Era, Eschatology, Endtimes, Eulogy, Exodus Failed histories, Fantasy, Fictional histories, First landings, Flight, Funk, Futures Gender/Gendered/Gendering, Geography, Ghosts, Grotesque Home, Homeland Icons, Imagination Language, Levitation, Liftoff, Love Machines, Magic, Masterplan, “Molecularization of Race”, Motherships, Mystic, Myth Portals, Power, Plantations, Prophecy, Pyramid Race, Rapture, Reincarnation, Rhythm, Ritual Sacred, Sampling, Satellites, Sex, Shadows, Shapeshifting, Skat, Slaveships, Specters, Speculation, Space, Syncretism Technologies, Temporality, Text, Time travel, Tombs Utopia, Universe Worldbuilding, Worship
Selected artists are:
Sonia Louise Davis
Thank you to everyone who submitted to our call for work. We had a huge response and it was difficult to narrow it down to the dozen artists who will be featured.
Thank you all for your continued support and we hope you can join us in D.C. on May 9th!
MAMBU BADU is a collective of cultural producers and artists who curate art-based experiences that center the process and product of black self-identified women with a focus on photo-based work. Founded in 2010, MAMBU BADU currently is Kameelah Rasheed, Allison McDaniel, Danielle Scruggs, and Yodith Dammlash.
“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”—Anais Nin (via aseeyax)
The Vanguard, a collection of audio interviews and photographic portraits of artists in the Washington, D.C. area.
It’s aliiiiiiiiive! I started this project nearly three years ago, back in October 2011. It started mainly out of my curiosity about the processes and practices of artists across the spectrum—-visual, performance, and literary.
This has been a labor of love and I am so glad to finally be able to share this!
So proud of my girl, Danielle for getting this project off the ground and flying!! Check it out. I am here for the labors of love and good people doing good things!
“Writing stories is one of the most assertive things a person can do. Fiction is an act of willfulness, a deliberate effort to reconceive, to rearrange, to reconstitute nothing short of reality itself.”—From Notes from a Literary Apprenticeship, by Jhumpa Lahiri in The New Yorker (via thegist)
“Slavery made your mother into a myth, banished your father’s name, and exiled your siblings to the far corners of the earth. The slave was as an orphan, according to Frederick Douglass, even when he knew his kin. “We were brothers and sisters, but what of that? Why should they be attached to me, or I to them? Brothers and sisters we were by blood; but slavery had made us strangers. I heard the words brother and sisters, and knew they must mean something; but slavery had robbed these terms of their true meaning.” The only sure inheritance passed from one generation to the next was this loss, and it defined the tribe. A philosopher had once described it as an identity produced by negation.”—Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Across the Atlantic, p. 103 (via kadalkavithaigal)
Calling a moratorium on horrible TV episodes that try to explain racism and its resolution through apologies and hugs in 30 minutes. Please stop. I have to reread George Trow’s “Within the Context of No Context” again.
When the cancer hollowed your body and made your insides tunnels for radiation, I was sitting in a cluttered college dorm room separating 82 calorie snacks into ziplock baggies in the hopes that I could shrink myself so that my flesh would cling tightly to my bones like yours.
This is a very short excerpt from a forthcoming project. The original audio is 15 minutes was collected on July 16, 2013 on 125th and Lenox. Pasted below is the text I wrote back when I first collected this audio on my iPhone.
Across the street were the NOI brothers handing out the Final Call papers and was told the Five Percenters were camped out down the block. The religious diversity of Harlem, of Black people in the Americas. I stopped to talk to the Israelite brothers for a bit, collected some literature, read through all the placards and stuck around for the theatrics. I do not say theatrics to be dismissive, rather, it is an assertion that street proselytizing is inherently theatrical because they are trying to invite an audience into the public space they have co-opted/reclaimed as sacred ritualized space/micro learning stations. In order to keep an audience, they must be theatrical and performative. (Also, consider the charismatic Christian movement and the tactics used to draw an audience). I had seen brothers from this chapter perform before, but wanted to see it again for myself. I am curious about several elements of this site specific religious performance art — 1) the positioning of the preachers on a platform above everyone else 2) the tag team sermon delivery style where one brother delivered the sermon while another brother stood next to him and read Bible verses on command 3) the militarization of their clothing and spatial organization around the stage/table the preachers stood on 4) the use of a microphone and the cadence of their speech 5) the language used in the placard — mainly Bible verses 6) the studded uniforms 7) the absence of women.
MAMBU BADU is a collective of cultural producers and artists who curate art-based experiences that center the process and product of black self-identified women with a focus on photo-based work.
We curate biannual shows and publications in addition to independent projects. For 2014, we will be curating a show in Washington D.C.’s Vivid Solutions Gallery as well as organizing a series of public programming to bridge the gap between the gallery and the community. In the past, MAMBU BADU collective founders have curated art experiences in spaces such as the Median (Washington, D.C.) and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Harlem, NY).
We are especially keen on collaborations that encourage community engagement, inquiry, and artistic exploration. While MB began as a collective of photographers, our vision has evolved to create space to not only create art but to interrogate art practices. We want to explore the dialectical relationship between theory and practice as well as the between contemplation and creation. We want to map the materialization of thoughts and histories.
In the section of Capital titled “The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof,” Marx demonstrates that the commodity is a materialization of our social relations:
A commodity appears, at first sight, a very trivial thing, and easily understood. Its analysis shows that it is, in reality, a very queer thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties. So far as it is a value in use, there is nothing mysterious about it, whether we consider it from the point of view that by its properties it is capable of satisfying human wants, or from the point that those properties are the product of human labor. It is as clear as noon-day that man, by his industry, changes the forms of the materials furnished by Nature, in such a way as to make them useful to him. The form of wood, for instance, is altered, by making a table out of it. Yet, for all that, the table continues to be that common, every-day thing, wood. But, so soon as it steps forth as a commodity, it is changed into something transcendent. It not only stands with its feet on the ground, but, in relation to all other commodities, it stands on its head, and evolves out of its wooden brain grotesque ideas, far more wonderful than “table-turning” ever was.
According to Marx, the commodity is comprised of two values: use value and exchange value. But there is a third, intrinsic value that stems from exchange value, and it is here that the total and unconditional interdependency between commodities is found. The commodity is the thing that always feels at home. Whereas man suffers from a folkloristic and identity-dependent conception of foreignness, acquaintance, history, tradition, and alienation, and plants and animals have difficulty acclimatizing, the commodity is a mode of being that is free of all these. It is first and foremost a presence.