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Still Here

May 8, 2019 - August 11, 2019

| $ - See event webpage

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Still Here explores stories of migration, displacement, and survival in films by eight artists that represent a spectrum of the African Diaspora. The works in this exhibition use moving images as conduit to highlight the rituals and traditions that persevere and evolve, despite the oppressive historical ripple effects of colonialism and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Through practices and tools of survival such as migrating, defending, dancing, gathering, praying, and claiming agency over one’s body, the works in this exhibition demonstrate that black and brown bodies are not here for consumption of the white gaze, nor are they passive beings upon whom actions are done or inflicted. Instead, the film’s subjects investigate and enact strategies to deeply connect with parts of their personal and collective narratives that have been overlooked or erased by dominant Eurocentric historical accounts.

The eight artists in this show include Larry Achiampong, who documents the mutations of religious tradition as result of colonization by filming various African communities worshipping within the interiors of Roman Catholic Churches across London. Adama Delphine Fawundu explores the essence of hair growth and its symbolic significance to her native Mende heritage. In his film Papa Machete, Jason Fitzroy Jeffer illustrates the importance of heritage, memories via Haitian machete fencing, an esoteric form of martial art which was used during the Haitian revolution as a farmer’s key to survival. Carlos Javier Ortiz questions the status of Black America today by revisiting the history of the Great Migration, where six million African Americans relocated from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West from 1915 to 1970. With simplified movement and one continuous still shot, Cinthia Marcelle orchestrated 16 musicians to meet at the centre of a crossroads, battle, and leave playing music in harmony, emphasizing that all parties are still remaining in the end. In JUVÉ NITE, MELO-X depicts groups of people of color celebrating, dancing, and practicing religions; their bodies present and their influence palpable, strong, assertive, and often revolutionary. Helina Metaferia raises attention to the Black body through the conjuring of powerful bloodlines in her performance work. Her project places female descendants of Black civil rights activists in conversation with each other, and at sites of historic trauma, in order to visually interrogate the role of the inherited social movement histories on the Black body. Joiri Minaya uses her body as a tool for both creation and destruction, questioning the creation of the exotic illusion put on her being. She asserts her autonomy onto a mural she worked on for a month, destroys the work, and therefore destroys the illusion set on her identity. All eight artists prove that even through migrations, mutations, battles, oppression, and struggle, they are still here.


May 8, 2019
August 11, 2019
$ - See event webpage
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Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
685 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 United States


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