In February 2018, I traveled to Ghana to study an ancient pottery making tradition from black women potters. For three weeks I lived and worked alongside black women potters in the small village of Vume. Additionally, I studied how the Vume pottery making tradition functions in storytelling, preserving cultural heritage, and building community amongst the women.
For Phase II of my project, slated for September 2018, I plan to channel my experiences in Africa to curate a series of artistic events designed to unify, empower, and reconnect black women with their clay roots and with each other. My goal is to engage and unite demographically diverse groups of black women through hands-on pottery workshops, which will take place in the gallery space of Temple Contemporary in North Philadelphia. My vision is to facilitate cross-generational gatherings of black women from different socio-economic backgrounds and use art as the catalyst for removing the barriers that divide us. The participating women will work collectively to build dozens of pottery vessels, a shared artistic experience designed to foster connection and solidarity.
Next, in a dynamic drum-processional from Temple Contemporary, additional groups of black women will ritualistically carry the finished pottery vessels 3 miles through residential communities to the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Upon arrival at the museum, the project will culminate in a free public exhibition and opening reception/celebration. Overall, my project strives to spark a social movement that defies stereotypes and builds community through the confluence of art, culture, performance and tradition.