Words by Vicky Clark and Julie Mallis
Hello Editors! Get ready to hear artist presentations from our Art + Feminism Wikipedia Editathon Artist Performers. In leading up to the big event, we want to give you a little preview about what to expect. When you are not editing and pulling resources, enjoy some lunch at noon and throughout the day, you will hear from artists who are doing the work of information sharing, increasing literacy, community activism and empowerment. Featuring: Sabreen Kadhim of City of Asylum, Joy KMT & Bekezela Mguni of Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception and Christiane D with her recent release, Amor Fati.
More about the artists!!
Artists Joy KMT & Bekezela Mguni come together in The Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception. After a successful launch of the #PghPOCZineDistro out of BOOM Concepts last spring, Bekezela has expanded her work in sharing literacy, art and community by hosting the upcoming Black Unicorn Reading Room slated to occur March 11 – 31 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre. As a radical librarian and an artist, Bekezela is bringing together a network of information sharing. Here is more information about her upcoming project: Black Unicorn Reading Room – March 11–31, Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre; Penn Avenue Creative Residency; A radical librarian and archivist, Bekezela Mguni curates the Black Unicorn Reading Room, a pop-up space that allows people to discover the rich literary legacy and canon of Black women and LGBTQ folk, and to seek refuge from the world’s brutality. Mguni uses a Black queer feminist approach to information sharing and community building, with a mix of literature, music, visual art and ephemera for sale and reference.
Collaborative partner, Joy KMT shares her wisdom, words and healing across a variety of media, including her blog where she recently posted, “Here you can have my skin” and an excerpt here, she writes:
“I will tell you a story, about how me and my mother and my brother would walk and walk and walk, for we are people of journeys. And I will tell you that there are trees mighty trees that surrounded the empty shopping center that sprawled like an abandoned fortress atop the ghetto.
The sunsets there were spun gold and the pink inner flesh of a lily. And the sunsets would feed me lushly and tell me stories of girls that cried jewels from their eyes.
Sometimes me and my mother would walk. And in east hills, we would see pheasants and seagulls and one time we saw a peacock. And one time we felt an earth quake. And you can ask my mama if that is true. We may have been the only two people to feel it in the world, but we felt the earth’s belly shake a little like a hearty laugh.”
KMT is one of the brains behind Roots Pride PGH (along with visionary Michael David Battle), in which she launched an alternative platform to the corporate-backed Pittsburgh Pride celebration, often catering to the interests of white cis gay men. Just another example where an open platform or celebration (be it Wikipedia or Pride) is dominated by and thus more catered towards men.
What’s more? Christiane D
Art and Ideas
I have always loved wordplay. One of my favorite book titles is Art Objects by Jeanette Winterson because of its double meaning. At the other end of the spectrum, I remember when I first came to Pittsburgh that the Carnegie had a prestigious lecture series called Man and Ideas. WOW – that says it all. But now, here we are, women with ideas. And here’s some good wordplay:
Christiane D makes an album called Amor Fati. The liner notes, written by Alexi Morrissey: “the artist Christiane Dolores tempts the casual canlistener to conjure up a strange cabaret where the legitimate quirkiness of Laurie Anderson, the poetic earnestness of Jeff Buckley and the jazz/gospel stylings of a glittering, long-dead era have been deliciously combined. But after a few listens you realize these sweet, catchy, air- tight songs have been bought and paid for by a real woman over the course of a lifetime. If acceptance is the adult version of patience then this music shows you can have peace with a broken world.” Christiane will be screening her new music video during her artist presentation.
The Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception, a ministry for black women, invents new terms because there are “no words in the english language for the type of profoundly culture-shifting work” they do as they combine mind, body, and spirit, art and healing. They can’t be categorized by limiting terms.
Word play again: immaculate perception/conception/reception. Just think of the interaction between those three in a variety of realms. Constructs on parade.
Wordplay as we fix and reconstruct the gender bias in Wikipedia at the editathon. Join us and participate with the tabernacle, Christiane D and Sabreen!
Feature image, top: Christiane D.