This Artist Proposes a Community Space ‘to Dream, to Imagine’

This Artist Proposes a Community Space ‘to Dream, to Imagine’

Yes, yes, yes. When I was going through my episode, we’ll call it, I was in panic. I saw a future, and it was like watching this tornado in the distance, just watching it come and not being able to do anything about it.

I think all artists have foresight. The work that we do is to create futures and invite people into them. And so that’s what I’m trying to do: to put forward a proposal for the future and invite people into it.

What kind of future do you propose?

I think there’s no way we can go back to business as usual. I think that would be a huge misfortune, to return to normality, whatever that could mean or whatever that meant. I think we have to be radical, we have to be strategic, we have to be strong and enduring, we have to be organized, and we have to support each other in the grass roots, because we see that our government does not have the capacity to do it and isn’t interested in doing it. We are the ones we have been waiting for, in the great words of June Jordan.

Does this new iteration still focus on black queer identity — what this moment means for black queer people in particular?

I’m not trying to speak for all of any one group; that’s impossible. But I do think that I can speak to my specific lived experience and the communities I circulate inside of.

I’m reaching back to these folks I call my queer ancestors: Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Sun Ra, Alain Locke. There are so many. I’m reaching toward them and asking them to help me through.

I think that no matter our race, creed, color, nationality, whatever, there’s something to be learned from those who exist in that space of black and queer. And both of those words are very unstable signifiers. What is black and what is queer, really? I think there’s something in that illegible, unstable set of identities that everyone can learn from. Whether we’re open to that, that’s another question, but there’s something to be learned, believe me.

For updates on “Chameleon: The Living Installments,” follow @chameleon_coalition on Instagram and visit empac.rpi.edu.




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