“Altars: Black Queer Spirit Work” is a visual intervention that addresses the making and significance of altars in the lives of black queer subjects. It is through the making of personal and communal altars that we are able to resist and persist within an everyday reality of intersectional violences such as anti-blackness, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. Altars are a way of creating communion with our ancestors and shape an erotic poetics of intimacy, interiority and radical belonging; within which we construct narratives of freedom and resistance, memory and storytelling, desire and possibility. Our altars can take multiple forms: traditional altars, altars to ancestors, communal pop-up or temporary altars, personal altars, altars for protection, altars of the body, and of water. Thus the project will address how specific black queer subjects participate in African Diasporic spiritual practices through the creation of altars.
The project is a collaboration, between myself as visual storyteller and ten collaborators-artists, activists, workers, academics, priests and priestesses of the African Diaspora-who will agree to contribute text explicating their altars and “spirit work.” This first phase of the project will take place in my present locality of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (April 2019)