B.Y.O.Chair: Experience the art of Spatial Justice

 
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Dear committed equity & diversity scholars,

We Welcome your participation. See blurb below for an exciting opportunity April 10th-April 27th. We are asking faculty to participate in a creative teach-in opportunity.

Underrepresented is a gross understatement when applied to the presence of Black men working in art & art education. The Washington Post (2014) reported research based on data analyzed from a group of 2 million art school graduates, (Brooks, 2014), n an article appropriately titled: "If you are lucky enough to earn a living from your art you are probably white."  This research concluded that 80.8% of art school graduates and practitioners ust happen to be white (Ferdman,2014).

Non-white students across the nation claim to feel “unwanted, unwelcome and unsafe” on college campuses despite increased enrollment of minority students (Mohammad et al., 2015). Ilya captivates audiences with his incredible skill and warm audience rapport and invites students to engage in dialogue on racism within traditional spaces that tend to mute minoritized voices.

Parvathi Raman, Chair of the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, SOAS. writes, “The micro-politics of our everyday lives can often be hidden from view, giving the impression of monolithic institutions which render us powerless. But by giving centre stage to the creative art of people’s everyday socio-political space-making and diasporic practices, we can highlight not only how contemporary governance can be challenged, but can also be escaped, and on occasion, overturned.” 

For his current exhibition here at Teachers College, Columbia University, Ilya Benjamin Washington transforms the gallery space into a brave space open to discuss issues of marginality, exclusion and belonging. This multimodal exhibit features photographs, video and active space to engage the materiality of spatial justice, a concept most notable in the work of geographers Edward Soja and David Harvey (2010). A variety of folding chairs are made available for community use. The collection of chairs are symbolic. Chairs are more than where you sit, chairs are about power. Understanding that chairs are about power and status adds a new dimension to the Shirley Chisholm quote, ‘if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” 

This multi-modal exhibit features photographs, video and active space that engage the materiality of spatial justice, a concept most notable in the work of geographers Edward Soja and David Harvey (2010). A variety of folding chairs are made available for community use. The collection of chairs are symbolic. Chairs are more than where you sit, they are about power. Understanding that chairs are about power and status adds a new dimension to the Shirley Chisholm quote, ‘if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” 

Ilya Benjamin Washington transforms the gallery into a brave space open to discuss issues of marginality, exclusion and belonging. We invite your participation. Please select a time-slot between April 10th & April 27th between 11am & 6pm to occupy space in an experiment in spatial justice.  

The point is to occupy space historically restricted to minoritized communities. We welcome your participation.

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