Interview: Phoebe Boswell “I always want drawings to be open and moving and shifting”

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2018-01-22 03:13Z by Steven

Interview: Phoebe Boswell “I always want drawings to be open and moving and shifting”

Moving Histories: History and Memory through the Moving Image and its dialogue with other media
2017-04-13

Yvette Greslé


Phoebe Boswell, wall drawing, “For Every Real Word Spoken”, Tiwani Contemporary, 2017. © Sylvain Deleu, courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary.

This interview (Yvette Greslé and Phoebe Boswell) was conducted at Tiwani Contemporary, 14 March 2017.

Phoebe Boswell was born in 1982 in Nairobi, Kenya and raised, as an expatriate, in the Middle East. Boswell, who is now based in London, studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art and 2D Animation at Central St Martins. Her dialogue with her Gikuyu-Kenyan born mother (Joyce) and British-Kenyan (Timothy) father underpins her first major multimedia installation The Matter of Memory (2014) shown, together with work by John Akomfrah and Rashaad Newsome, at Carroll/Fletcher (London) in 2014. In 2015, The Matter of Memory was shown at the Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) curated by Elvira Dyangani Ose. A second major multimedia installation, Mutumia (2016) was commissioned and produced for the Biennial of Moving Images at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva in 2016. In 2017, Mutumia was exhibited in Kiev for the Future Generation Art Prize for which Boswell was shortlisted; and subsequently awarded the Special Prize which supports a residency program. In addition to The Matter of Memory and Mutumia, Boswell has produced a number of works notably Prologue: The Lizard of Unmarriedness (It’s All About How You Tell It) and The Stranger in the Village (both 2015). She was awarded a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship in 2012 and has been an artist-in-residence at the Florence Trust and the Konstepidemin, Gothenburg (2015). Since 2016 she has been an artist-in-residence at Somerset House (London). Boswell’s film Dear Mr Shakespeare, directed by Shola Amoo, was selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. The medium of drawing, as an art practice encompassing animation, is central to Boswell’s oeuvre thus far. Her drawing work is also situated in relation to audience participation; architectural and spatial environments; video art; sound; and found objects and materials.

Yvette Greslé: What was the impetus for the work produced for For Every Real Word Spoken at Tiwani Contemporary? It is preceded by Mutumia and emerges from this work?

Phoebe Boswell: A friend of mine sent me an image of naked, older African women lying in a dirt path in Uganda. My own immediate visceral reaction was: “What’s happening to these women? What’s being done to them? How are they being violated?” I was horrified by this image. Then, my friend sent me the story of the photograph and I discovered that these were Acholi women. The Acholi people had been fighting for their land rights for a long time. On this specific day, the government had sent in people to physically remove people. The women decided: “Enough is enough, we’re going to do something”. They took off their clothes. It’s a taboo for men to see women naked, to see their mothers naked. So they took off their clothes and lay down in the path. They affected what happened next. They were not removed from the land that day. Actually, the image that I was looking at is a very heroic image but my conditioning made me read the naked female body and black women’s bodies through the filter of my own conditioning. I was so sure that this was a terrible image…

Read the entire interview here.

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An Interview and a Snapshot

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2018-01-22 02:25Z by Steven

An Interview and a Snapshot

Neither/Both LLC: Counseling for Mixed individuals and interracial families
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2018-01-2018

Lola Osunkoya, MA, LPCC


Lola Osunkoya

Recently, I was contacted by someone out of state who wanted to interview me for a documentary they are filming for their thesis. They needed a professional or expert to discuss Mixed identity. I said no a couple of times due to time constraints as well as concerns about the project. A portion was sent to me that featured a White mother offering commentary about her Mixed children that was problematic—tone deaf comments about “good hair” and her perspective that her kids had no problems with their racial identity. After being reassured that this was exactly why they were seeking my perspective to add, I agreed to answer their questions via email.

I thought my answers turned out to be a pretty good snapshot of where I was at in December 2017 in the way I would describe my perspectives and experiences. It’s always tricky as a therapist to answer personal questions. Part of me wants to be completely transparent when talking about being Mixed, and part of me knows I need to take good care of my boundaries. It’s a flexible balance. The questions and my answers:

Read the entire article here.

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Elizabeth Warren’s Native American problem goes beyond politics

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, United States on 2018-01-22 01:21Z by Steven

Elizabeth Warren’s Native American problem goes beyond politics

The Boston Globe
2018-01-19

Annie Linskey, Chief national correspondent


Keith Bedford/Globe Staff
Senator Elizabeth Warren says now, as she has from the first days of her public life, that she based her assertions about her heritage on her reasonable trust in what she was told about her ancestry as a child.

WASHINGTON — There’s a ghost haunting Elizabeth Warren as she ramps up for a possible 2020 presidential bid and a reelection campaign in Massachusetts this year: her enduring and undocumented claims of Native American ancestry.

Warren says now, as she has from the first days of her public life, that she based her assertions on family lore, on her reasonable trust in what she was told about her ancestry as a child.

“I know who I am,” she said in a recent interview with the Globe.

But that self-awareness may not be enough, as her political ambitions blossom. She’s taken flak from the right for years as a “fake Indian,” including taunts from President Trump, who derisively calls her “Pocahontas.’’ That clamor from the right will only grow with her increasing prominence…

…Warren’s family has ties to Oklahoma dating from the end of the 19th century — before it was a state. Oklahoma is now home to more than 35 federally recognized tribes, and it’s common for people there to claim Native American ancestry, often based on little more than family mythology. That’s partially because there is, for some, a certain mystique in popular culture associated with American Indian ties and many families liked to include those ties in their lore.

But claiming Native blood without evidence cuts to the very core of Native American identity because it usurps the rights American Indians have to define their own people and nations, according to native advocates.

“The problem with Elizabeth Warren is she is not the average wannabe,” said David Cornsilk, a Cherokee historian and genealogist. “She is an academic. She has a higher level of aptitude to examine these issues. And a higher responsibility to examine them, and accept the research that is done, or to counter it with alternative research.”…

Read the entire article here.

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An Interview with the American Photographer Chase Hall in the East Village, Manhattan

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-12-28 01:14Z by Steven

An Interview with the American Photographer Chase Hall in the East Village, Manhattan

Arteviste
2016-09-29

Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, Founder


Portrait by Flora Alexandra Ogilvy (2016)

Raised across Minnesota, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dubai and Malibu, the multifaceted photographer and painter Chase Hall now lives in the East Village, New York. Before moving to Manhattan to be surrounded by fellow artists, he worked in LA as an assistant on fashion shoots and did some commercial photography. We first met in the East Village live/work space in which he maintains a disciplined routine, waking up at dawn to work on his ongoing projects and self-taught skills, which are often learnt on YouTube. Known for his work’s optimism and carefree aesthetic, Chase is all about the process, and believes we ought to see more of the effort behind even the most spontaneous works of art. Although he doesn’t work directly within a collective, he draws from contemporaries Reed Burdge, Tucker Van Der Wyden and Grear Patterson with whom he has often discussed ideas and shared his work.

Using film cameras like the Leica M6 and Mamiya 6, Chase chooses a monochrome palette when working in the urban setting and takes colour photographs when travelling. When I looked through his portfolio there were gritty street scenes, colourful shots from the Jamaican jungle and simple compositions taken in California – he isn’t afraid of diversifying his subject matter. When in New York, he’ll set out each morning and walk up to 15 miles around the city, capturing people on the streets, whilst hoping to communicate a sense of optimism in his work. In fact, Chase is developing his street photography into a simple documentary about the effects of smiling on the streets. With each of his subjects, he writes journals about their stories, but also makes voice recordings so that he can remember the narrative behind the people in his portraits and can really take the time to get to know them…

Read the entire interview here.

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Chase Hall

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-12-28 00:50Z by Steven

Chase Hall

Coveal
2017-05-30

Sunny Lee


“roots not fruits” produce boxes on wood 30″ x 60″

With a geographical upbringing as far-flung as the mediums he pursues, Chase Hall has been mostly known for his stunning portrait series, which prominently features a populace that goes largely unnoticed; though, he’ll be quick to let you know that his fine art has been an equal extension of his creative production since he was 9. From sculptures to drawings, to paintings, Hall’s disparate mediums come together in a cohesive oeuvre, articulating often overlooked counternarratives that don’t fit so neatly within the public’s imagination, but that’s not to say he attempts to control any narrative but his own. For Hall, it can only begin with the personal, regardless of what viewers can glean from his work. Read on as Hall talks about how his background has played a major role in his work and why he eschews any labels—plus, scoop up some hints for his upcoming book come Fall 2017. Till then, be on the lookout for any updates via his Instagram

You were raised across Minnesota, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dubai, Colorado, and Malibu. Can you tell me a bit more about that and how that’s come to inform your practice?

I was raised by a single mom who was always grinding for us to live a better life. That came with many pros and cons but being exposed to the beauty and struggles around the world has really opened my eyes…

Hence, the reason why race figures so heavily into your work. Can you tell me a bit more about your mixed-race experiences as well?

Yeah, its wild how the one drop rule is still such a prevalent thing today. I often joke how I’m just as much white as I am black because my whole life I’m the “black friend” or the classic “C’mon Chase you’re not actually black?!” Comments like that are a constant, and in all honesty, every ounce of racism I have faced or will face is all fuel to the fire. I truly believe that being mixed is a privilege. It has allowed me to understand more about different backgrounds and how all races are working towards the very same goal in the end. I sometimes feel like being mixed is a bridge for one culture to start learning about another. Labeling is sustaining racism and things like black history month will constantly hinder us being equal. There is no white history month or Asian history month. We need to start understanding what is marginalizing and how to change it…

Read the entire article here.

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Let’s Talk About Whiteness

Posted in Audio, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-12-26 22:53Z by Steven

Let’s Talk About Whiteness

On Being
2017-01-19

Krista Tippett, Host/Executive Producer

Eula Biss, Professor of Instruction
Department of English
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois


Image by Ann Hamilton

Could we learn to talk about whiteness? The writer Eula Biss has been thinking and writing about being white and raising white children in a multi-racial world for a long time. She helpfully opens up words and ideas like “complacence,” “guilt,” and something related to privilege called “opportunity hoarding.” To be in this uncomfortable conversation is to realize how these words alone, taken seriously, can shake us up in necessary ways — but also how the limits of words make these conversations at once more messy and more urgent.

Listen to the interview (00:51:21) here. Download the interview here. Read the transcript here.

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The Concept of “Passing”…

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-12-05 03:50Z by Steven

The Concept of “Passing”…

Another View Radio Show
WHRV 89.5 FM
Norfolk, Virginia
2017-10-07

Barbara Hamm Lee, Executive Producer and Host

It’s a phenomenon unique to communities of color – those with very light skin “passing” for white, particularly for African Americans, during the Jim Crow era. On the next Another View we’ll talk with Donna Drew Sawyer, author of Provenance: A Novel, about what happens in the life of a fictional character who passes for white; and historian Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander who shares the history of this practice.

Download the interview (01:00:00) here.

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Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken

Posted in Africa, Audio, Europe, History, Interviews, Media Archive on 2017-12-05 00:36Z by Steven

Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken

The New Book Network
2017-02-04

Black Germany: The Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884-1960 (Cambridge University Press 2015)

“There were black Germans?”

My students are always surprised to learn that there were and are a community of African immigrants and Afro-Germans that dates back to the nineteenth century (and sometimes earlier), and that this community has at times had an influence on German culture, society, and racial thinking that belied its small size.

Germany’s role in colonizing Africa has received increased attention lately, with an exhibit on German colonialism appearing at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in October and recent headway on a deal for Germany to pay reparations to the descendants of Herero and Nama genocide victims in Namibia. In Black Germany: The Making and Unmaking of a Disapora Community, 1884-1960 (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken supply a part of the colonial story that gets even less attention than that of Germans in Africa: what about Africans in Germany? Focusing primarily on a community of West-African-born black Germans and their families, Rosenhaft and Aitken trace the groups evolution in the nineteenth century through its persecutions by the Nazi state and postwar existence.

Download the interview (00:25:27) here.

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“She’s not exotic. She’s not from a tribe in the Amazon. She’s American”: Gina Yashere on Meghan Markle’s engagement

Posted in Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos on 2017-12-04 01:21Z by Steven

“She’s not exotic. She’s not from a tribe in the Amazon. She’s American”: Gina Yashere on Meghan Markle’s engagement

Channel 4 News
London, United Kingdom
2017-11-28

Cathy Newman, Presenter

Interview with author Afua Hirsch and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff who is deputy editor of gal-dem – an online magazine written by women of colour. And from New York – the comedian Gina Yashere.

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WSW: Crispus Attucks And A “Blank Slate” In History

Posted in Articles, Audio, Biography, History, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-29 01:56Z by Steven

WSW: Crispus Attucks And A “Blank Slate” In History

WestSouthwest
WMUK 102.1 FM
Information + Inspiration for Southwest Michigan from Western Michigan University

Gordon Evans, Host


First Marty of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory
Credit Oxford University Press

Western Michigan University History Professor Mitch Kachun says his book is about Crispus Attucks, one of the men, killed at the Boston Massacre in 1770. But he says First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory also raises questions about who’s included in history, and who is ignored.

Attucks himself was ignored for long periods of American history. Kachun says while the Boston Massacre was remembered in the 1770’s into the 1780’s, those killed were rarely mentioned by name. But Kachun says around the time of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, more attention was paid to the role of the working class in the American Revolution. Then as the anti-slavery movement became more active, the story of the mixed-race man killed in 1770 was told more often. By the end of the 1840’s and in the 1850’s, Kachun says Attucks was often referred to as a figure in the Revolution.

If Attucks had not been mixed race, Kachun says his name may not have come so much over time. He says that very few people can name any of the others killed at the Boston Massacre. Kachun says Attucks was identified as mixed-race or “mulatto,” but the initial newspaper accounts and the coroner’s report identified him as “Michael Johnson.” Kachun says that had led to theories that Crispus Attucks was hiding his identity because he had escaped slavery in 1750. But Kachun says there is no evidence to support that claim…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the interview (00:29:27) here.

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