My nonprofit, Rose Pan African Education, will be working alongside visual artist-scholar Ashon Crawley this summer 2022, to manifest Crawley's newest artistic vision, entitled "in search of our mothers' gardens." We will be working with the help 10 student-artists of color from the Americas in rural Senegal, West Africa to engage in not only life changing experiences but life changing art. Together we will generate a multi-pronged project that situates the rich stories of our African farming (fore)mothers, as sources of artistic knowledge carried through the Middle Passage into the Americas--artistic knowledges that imagine alternative ways of creating beauty in spaces bereft of life and care. We will be collecting the stories of Black women and LGBT farmers of Senegal, through documentary film and sound recordings. And we will be integrating some of this sonic affect and storytelling into what Crawley is calling a living arts installation. Meaning we will be nurturing to life, a real garden in Senegal and erecting a sonic-visual art structure within it. This art installation will be a multi-sensorial experience for visitors to the community garden where they can immerse themselves in the beauty of everyday sound and oral histories of Black farming as art/resistance, while meandering through the wonder of a garden. This art also doubles as a source of honor and nutritional nourishment for a cluster of Senegal's rural villages that are stricken by the effects of eroding shorelines, plastic laden beaches, processed foods that are rapidly replacing traditional diets, and high levels of poverty. More specifically, this garden will provide sustenance, enhance mental wellness, and encourage environmental justice in local communities and for the children of families who will be attending our school of the arts 2023. For most importantly, this art project is a garden for our nonprofit' s primary school--a symbol of the development and confidence we aim to cultivate.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (March 2022)