Revolutionary Art enlightens and empowers the masses of Black people. Not only does it provide a dynamic attack against those who aim to misrepresent us, but it also educates Black, Brown and Latinx peoples. For 5 years now, visual artist & activist Jason Stone has been the creator & conceptual mind behind the indie Black arts & socio-political publication, The Experience Magazine. With a “F.U.B.U.” mentality, The Experience Mag prides itself on being the true media source for Black and Latin artists not only based in NYC, but across the nation. With its success, Jason has also been able to put together community by building events & other programs that are powered by the spirit of the magazine. Through the mag, Jason has held a 5 borough series of multi-visual art events titled “The Sunrise Kingdom” at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Five Myles gallery in Brooklyn, and most recently the Queens Museum. The show is an extended live version of the magazine. Jason is a graduate of SUNY Oneonta with a B.A. in Computer Arts & also a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a M.F.A. in graphic design.
Edom Tilahun on Art, Community and Solidarity
Art as a tool for activism is not a new concept for many of us. Especially in a time where visual communication is so normalized, social activism has taken a large part of visual and social media. I want to look at art through this lens, and discuss its ability to draw communities together based on my experience with an online publication on campus: The Bridge. Started in 2016, I want to discuss how this initiative to being Black and Latina women at Duke and UNC through visual art and storytelling has evolved from an online platform, to a community that has leveraged solidarity to make an impact on the larger community. How can we make sure to encourage Black women specifically to voice their stories, and foster community? Why is this imperative?
Edom Tilahun is a third year student at Duke University Majoring in Global Health and Visual Media Studies. She is from Ethiopia, and has lived in the U.S. for 9 years- currently living in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. Through her studies of Global Health, she focuses on the impact of culture and community in health systems. On campus she works with thebridgeis.com to create visual content that focuses on the stories and lived experiences of Black women through painting, graphic design, videography and photography. Her work has been in a student exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in 2015, C. Eric Lincoln Theology & Arts Artist-In-Residence Inaugural Fellow program in 2017 at The Duke Chapel, and The Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture in 2017 and 2018. She plants to further develop her skills and innovate new ways to continue to create more.
Most women share an extensive relationship with their hair. It creates experiences, forms relationships, start conversations, and it is used as a source of social exchange. Hair is one of the most talked about subjects amongst black woman and as a result, it becomes a physical manifestation of self-identity. Hair is a freedom of expression that gives women the power and control to define their own beauty.
How can a black woman’s hair be expressed within a digital space? Shifting the conversation away from the one-style-fits-all mantra, The Hairspace Project is a digital space for the progressive discussion and documentation of black hair and women. Through curation and collaboration is a platform for artworks, reflections, interviews and thoughts on why hair is such an important part of a black woman’s appearance from their point of view. The idea is beyond the follicles that grow from one’s scalp; it tells a story that has a journey which is certainly worth sharing.
She's also known as the brown girl with the purple hair from the Eastside of Cleveland, OH making her splash in Brooklyn, NY; designing, photographing, coding, branding, thinking, learning, creating, and slaying for the culture. She has a BFA in Communication Design with a minor in Photography from Parsons School of Design. Her interests are in advertising, branding, publication design, social media, content development, production and web design.
For over a decade Yasmin has spent her free time mentoring inner city youth, and preparing them to enter higher education and the workforce. Yasmin dedicated six years serving the Obama Administration at both the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. During her tenures, she has served as a key point person in the Office of Management & Administration and the Office of Partnership and Engagement respectively. Yasmin was inspired to start the Hustlers Guild off of the foundations of her career and things she love most ; outreach ,development, music, and youth advocacy . With a love of hip hop and understanding the importance of youth development , she felt it made sense to extend her resources as a blueprint for those in her community who need it most. Yasmin is a graduate of Alabama State University, where she received her BA in Communications .
RAFiA Santana, #PAYBLACKTiME
RAFiA is a black brooklyn queer artist working with sound and images of the distorted self, wordplay, and social interaction.
Their selfies and wealth re-distributing intitiative #PAYBLACKTiME will be discussed
Jameel Mohammed, Founder of Khiry
The Journey: How KHIRY Founder and Creative Director Jameel Mohammed built a brand, and launched a business, from his dorm room.
"KHIRY celebrates the depth and beauty of the traditions of Africa and its diaspora through high-quality goods. Its inaugural jewlery collection is crafted from 18-karat gold, silver, rose quartz, with the occasional leather touch.
Building the KHIRY brand hasn’t come easy. Mohammed funded production of the first collection by raising over $25,000 on Kickstarter, and manages the growing brand with a motley crew of fellow Penn undergrads passionate about fashion and design."
Glenn Cantave, Founder of Movers and Shakers NYC
Glenn Cantave will talk about how virtual and augmented reality can be used for campaigns to reclaim our narratives (possible results include, the removal of racist monuments, creation of new cultural markers and installations, establishing educational campaigns, decolonizing museum spaces, mandating laws to further integrate black history into textbooks, and changing holidays).
About Glenn: Glenn is the Founder, CEO of Movers & Shakers, an NGO that aims at elevating the collective consciousness regarding the history of black and brown people using virtual reality, augmented reality and the creative arts. He and his team are working on an augmented reality book White Supremacy 101: Columbus the Hero? The idea of the book is to take the Movers & Shakers AR app on your phone and place it over each image for an animation to play over the physical art. The team is looking to set up installations in galleries with the art in upcoming months as they work to get the Columbus statues removed in New York City public spaces. He is also the Creator and Executive Producer of We the People, a 360 VR docuseries that intends humanize the resistance movement and convey the creative ways in which people are engaging in activism. So far they've had the chance to speak with influential resistors like Faiz Shakir, National Political Director of the ACLU, Todd Stern, Chief negotiator for the United States at the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference, and Steve Lucin, Founder/CEO of the Support Creativity Scholarship (as well as one of his scholarship recipients). They've also covered Charlottesville protests and had the pleasure of interviewing Don Gathers, Chair of the Charlottesville Blue Ribbon Commission that decided to remove the Confederate statues.
Jasmin Harvey, New Media Artist
Jasmin Harvey will talk about, "Reclaiming Identity through Virtual Reality Storytelling"
While it is important to tell the stories of oppressed communities, it is even more important that these communities tell the stories themselves. There is a certain power in telling your own story and that power is reclaiming one’s own identity. Often the identity of oppressed communities are reframed and re-articulated falsely through assumptions, which translates to a refusal of existence that renders those identities invisible. Too often oppressed communities are told to separate ourselves from our emotions, our histories for the sake of convenience. Virtual reality offers an immersive space where that separation is impractical. What results from such a space is the truest representation of identity. It is all about who the main voice is and everything about them, what they look like, the world around them, their physical presence: eye contact, body language, cadence of speech. Storytelling preserves, it preserves one’s history, dispels untruths, and reveals one’s stories of survival and resilience. Not only does virtual reality storytelling have the power to instruct and to lead, but also to heal. That healing is an integral to reclaiming one's own identity.
Jazzy is a Virtual Reality filmmaker who shoots, writes, edits, and produces immersive stories. Born the middle of three girls to a Jamaican mother and Black and Native father in South Central Los Angeles, Jazzy prides herself on intentional and original content creation and output that empowers frequently misrepresented communities. She earned her BA from Cornell University where she studied Socio-cultural Anthropology, Africana Studies, and Global Health with a collective focus on urban community development. Jazzy aspires to use the intersections of technology, art, multimedia forms, and education to amplify the voices of those often unheard and unseen. With a deep understanding of how people are linked across all channels, Jazzy strives to improve the mental health of oppressed communities by channeling authentic lived experiences through storytelling.
Jazzy founded Thatmiddlechild Productions as a creative platform to celebrate the lives of silenced communities and make new media more accessible. Thatmiddlechild Productions authentically commemorates and documents the realities of these communities through personal narrative, textured sound, and portraiture. Using a “for the people, by the people” approach, its mission is to disrupt and serve as a catalyst to connect, motivate, and inspire through immersive storytelling that is not easily forgotten.
Jazzy is currently working as a UX/UI Web Designer and Brand Strategist for creatives and small businesses.
Iyore Olaye, Award-Winning Technologist and Engineer
Overview of Lightning Talk:
“Liberation found at the intersection of technology and culture”. Iyore will share how she delves into the intersection between ideation, innovation, and market adoption to create meaningful products that directly impact industries, customers, and communities. Strategies on how to use technology as a tool for intellectual activism to make Afrofuturism a reality will be explored.
Iyore N. Olaye is an award-winning technology innovator, engineer, and speaker who is transforming the beauty and consumer technology industries. Currently, she is the lead development engineer at Walker & Company Brands. Using her strong technical capabilities and strategic product marketing talent, she leads research and development as the sole product development engineer for both of the company’s brands. As an advocate for women and underrepresented minorities in Science Technology Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.), Iyore has toured the nation engaging in interviews and conferences sharing her personal journey to inspire the youth and motivate others. In 2017, Iyore founded the I.N.O.™ Scholarship Award to support students during their first collegiate year, one of the most difficult years for S.T.E.M. students.
Iyore’s work and accomplishments continue to bring her much acclaim. Iyore was named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Retail & E-commerce and Youngest lists at the age 22. She went viral as the only African American woman to graduate from the Cornell University Chemical Engineering Class of 2016. Iyore has received the attention of local, national, and international major media outlets and publications including, Entrepreneurship Magazine, Forbes Magazine, BET, MIC, and more. Iyore holds a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular engineering from Cornell University. She was also awarded a business CORe Credential of Readiness from Harvard Business School.