Experience Is Expertise
Artist, poet, and scholar Simi Kang reframes the notion of expertise, examining which stories we are allowed to retain from our ancestors, what qualifies as a “valid” story, how institutions tell stories for us, and how we tell stories about and for ourselves.
When Saymoukda asked me to write for this incredible series, I struggled to find a center for the piece. While I make visual art and poetry, my primary art these days is writing in service to my Ph.D.…
The Ethics of Writing About Throwaway Women
Writer and performance artist May Lee-Yang speaks back to the critics — advocating for greater specificity in telling Hmong women's stories, proposing a fresh take on the responsibilities of the audience, and considering the role of the artist as bad girl.
Slut.Bitch.Gangster.Bad girl.Bad woman.Itchy cunt.Horny cunt.Woman who ran away.Old vegetables.Leftover human.Dead snake on the side of the road. …
Xee Reiter, Faces. Image courtesy of the artist.
Even "The Smallest Cell Remembers": Notes on Research
Mn Artists guest editor Chaun Webster considers the precariousness of research, evidence and memory in black geographies.
I am a researcher. I work outside the university, have no degree affirming my qualifications to interpret or produce knowledge. Insurgent. I am nobody (see June Jordan, see Alexis Pauline Gumbs). My work involves a kind of listening—echo—in order to recover abbreviated lives.…
Photo courtesy of Chaun Webster.
Are We Black Yet?: On Blackness as Art
Drummer, composer, writer and professor of African American literature and culture Davu Seru explores a body of ideas belonging to a kind of "un-finishing school" from Coltrane and their excavated recording, Both Directions at Once, to the seminal sermon in Invisible Man and perhaps black literature which asserts "black is...an' black ain't", asking us along the way: "Are we black yet?"
“If we had not survived and triumphed,there would not be a Black American alive.” —James Baldwin "Black people have…
Ad Reinhardt, Painting, 1960. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
Black Convivial: On Blackmospheres and Sci-fi Social Work
Poet and educator Keno Evol explores Sci-fi Social Work, black sociality, and where “wreckage meets possibility.”
“I hear the storm.”—Aimé Césaire, Discourse On Colonialism“I can always hear somebody running”—Fred Moten…
Photo Credit: Uiphotographic.
A Body of Art Subverts the Ban
Writer and performer Nusaiba Imady investigates translation, trauma, authorship, and the body in her response to the four collaborations created for Mn Artists Presents: Essma Imady, held at the Walker Art Center in August 2018.
Leila Awadallah and Asma Ghanem, My Garden Is a Security Threat. Photo by Galen Fletcher for Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.…
Out of Place: Black Triage and its Afterlife
PhD candidate in geography and writer Aaron Mallory explores the space between injury and death to discuss the afterlife of triage.
To be black is to be injured. An injury is a status, a commonly held social belief that one is not in good health. What it means to be to healthy depends on your place. We only speak of health when things aren’t well. …
Image credit: Aaron Mallory