Join us for our CEE Fellow Year-End Event "Mexican Psychotic ", an experimental film led by Ricardo Bracho, followed by a panel discussion with an exciting array of panelists on Dec 3rd at 5 pm.
Mexican Psychotic is an experimental video-in-progress on the life, art, and mythos of artist Martín Ramírez, who spent 30 years drawing beautiful works while incarcerated in California mental asylums. The film team includes Richardo Bracho as writer and director, Oludare Marcelle as lead editor/animator, Emily Dunlop as assistant editor, Nicholas Plante as assistant editor, and voiceover director.
The screening will take place on Dec 3rd at 5 pm at the Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum (it will also be live-streamed for remote audiences) followed by a discussion with CEE Fellow Ricardo A. Bracho and a panel of scholars and artists on Ramírez’s work and contemporary issues of incarceration, mental health, and artistry.
The discussion panel will include Dr. Toorjo Ghose, Dr. Jennifer S. Ponce de León, James "Yaya" Hough, Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, and Aaron Alarcon-Bowen.
Dr. Toorjo Ghose is an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice whose work focuses on structural interventions in the areas of incarceration, substance use, homelessness, and HIV, both at the domestic and international levels.
Dr. Jennifer S. Ponce de León is an interdisciplinary scholar and Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, whose research focuses on cultural production and antisystemic movements in the Americas since the 1960s and critical theory.
James "Yaya" Hough is the inaugural artist in residence for the district attorney’s office of Philadelphia.
Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood is the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication in the Steinhardt School at New York University.
Aaron Alarcon-Bowen is the Executive Director of the Community Services Bureau in Concord, California.
Join us for our CEE Fellow Year-End Event "Affect Theatre", a presentation followed by a discussion led by Cristiana Giordano and Greg Pierotti on Dec 6th at 5 pm.
How does an ethnographer remain affected by worlds encountered after leaving the field of research? How does a theater maker build theatrical worlds from empirical research that conveys not only story, but also affective experiences? Affect Theatre is a thinking and acting space for experimenting with these questions. During this lecture presentations students will present brief theatrical episodes which they will then explore and analyze with spectators in a group feedback process. CEE Fellows Cristiana Giordano and Greg Pierotti will give a talk laying out the practices and the theory underlying their collaborative experiment and methodology.
ABOUT THIS EVENT
Join the Center for Experimental Ethnography, WXPN, and Dr. Camee Maddox-Wingfield on Dec. 7 at 10am for a panel on Haitian Vodou inspirations and the roots of musical responses to social injustice, featuring sensational Haitian and Haitian American artists Manzè Beaubrun (Boukman Eksperyans), Malou Beauvoir (Malou Beauvoir), and Richard Morse (RAM and IMAMOU). The event will be in English with simultaneous translation in Haitian Creole. Register now.
LISTEN BEFORE THE EVENT
In order for you to get the most out of the conversation, we suggest you listen to some amazing grooves by the artists who will be joining us on Dec 7! Scroll to the end of the post to find out more.
Mimerose ‘Manzè’ Beaubrun
Photo Above: Mimerose Beaubrun, courtesy of the artist
Mimerose ‘Manzè’ Beaubrun is the lead singer and co-founder (with Lolo Beaubrun) of Boukman Eksperyans and the author of Nan Dòmi, récit d'une initiation vodou (2011), translated into English as Nan Dòmi: An Initiate’s Journey into Haitian Vodou (2013), as well as a manbo (Vodou priestess). She received her BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Université d'État d'Haiti, and co-authored the 1998 book Livre ouvert sur le développement endogène d’Haïti, translated into English as Open Book on the Endogenous Development of Haiti.
Boukman Eksperyans (English: Boukman Experience) is a Grammy-nominated mizik rasin band. The band derives its name from a a tribute to the Jamaican born enslaved leader Boukman Dutty who launched the Haitian revolution in August 1791, and the Haitian Creole word for "experience" (Eksperyans), inspired by the band's appreciation of the music of Jimi Hendrix. One of the most important musical movements that swept Haiti in the years following the exile of dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, mizik rasin combines elements of traditional vodou ceremonial and folkloric music with rock and roll. When Mimerose and Lolo began to seek their musical goals, they felt a strong desire to incorporate African elements in Haiti's culture into their music, combining roots music with vodou religious and musical traditions.
Since the beginning, starting with the first encounters made by the Beaubruns with deep African roots, Boukman Eksperyans has remained steadfastly linked to the Ginen ("Guinea") vodou line. The band calls it vodou adjae after a vodou ceremonial dance. This was also the title of their first album, released in 1991.
Boukman Eksperyans first became famous in 1990 when they presented their song "Ke'm Pa Sote" at the Carnival celebration in Port-au-Prince with its infamous lyrics: "My heart doesn't leap, I'm not afraid". These words were a grounded protest of the living conditions under the post-Duvalier interim military government of General Prosper Avril. Following the death of a young girl (who was shot by a soldier), Ke'm Pa Sote became an out-and-out battle hymn admonishing the government. The band continued to write and perform rebellious songs that depicted the reality of Haiti as they saw it. At the height of their popularity in 1991, Boukman Eksperyans fled Haiti to live in exile when Jean Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a military coup d'etat. During their time abroad, the band performed and spoke out against the military dictatorship of Raoul Cédras. In 1994, after Aristide was restored to power, the band returned to Haiti, where they continued to play concerts, record albums, and perform at the Carnival celebrations.
Above: Photo of Malou Beauvoir by Johnny Rodriguez, courtesy of Malou Beauvoir
Haitian-American performing artist Malou Beauvoir is a captivating, highly emotive singer-songwriter, actor and producer who brings to her artistry the unique amalgamation of her multi-cultural influences and experiences. A citizen of the world, she has lived in the US, Europe and Haiti, and traveled extensively; each culture she has encountered has impacted and informed her in different ways, reinforcing her openness to different perspectives and forms of spirituality. Malou has offered her performances and support to the “TIBET FUND Gala” in NY, the Fonkoze Gala in L.A, the Back Country Jazz fundraiser, and other non-profit organizations who are working to make this world a better place. For more info : maloubeauvoir.com
Richard Auguste Morse (born 1957) is a Puerto-Rican-born Haitian-American musician and founder of a mizik rasin band, RAM, named after his initials, and IMAMOU. Morse is married to RAM's lead female vocalist, Lunise Morse, and has two children. Morse also manages a famous hotel and venue in Port-Au-Prince, the Hotel Oloffso
In 1992, Morse and RAM adapted a traditional vodou folk song, "Fèy", to a rasin rhythm and instrumentation. Despite no overt references to the political situation, it was widely played on the radio and immediately taken up throughout the country as an unofficial anthem of support for Aristide. By the summer of 1992, playing or singing the song was banned under military authority, and Morse was subjected to death threats from the regime. In one particular instance, Morse was summoned before Evans François, the brother of Colonel Michel François, and his life was threatened. Over time, Morse, like many other Haitians, became disillusioned with Aristide and his new political party, Fanmi Lavalas.
RAM is a Haitian music band based in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The band derives its name from the initials of its founder, songwriter, and lead male vocalist, Richard A. Morse. The band’s sound reflects a mix of West African rhythms brought over on slave ships and Haitian rhythms influenced by indigenous cultures.
RAM began performing together in 1990, and recorded their first album in 1993. The band's music incorporates traditional Vodou lyrics and instruments, such as rara horns and petro drums, into modern rock and roll. The band's songs include lyrics in Haitian Creole and English. RAM first made the world scene in 1993, when one of its most popular singles, "Ibo Lele (Dreams Come True)," was included in the soundtrack for the major motion picture Philadelphia, next to famous musicians including Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young.
RAM is famous for its regular Thursday night performances at the Hotel Oloffson in downtown Port-au-Prince, attended by hotel guests and a wide spectrum of the country's political and racial groups. Yet throughout their 30-year career, the band has also performed at prestigious music venues around the globe including the Kennedy Center, Edinburgh Festival (Scotland), and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In 2021 RAM was featured in the Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans audio documentary.
The band’s discography includes:
Puritan Vodou (1997)
Kite Yo Pale (2001)
Le Jardin (2003)
Manman M Se Ginen (2016)
RAM 7: August 1791 (2018)
Dr. Camee Maddox-Wingfield
Photo Above: Dr. Camee Maddox-Wingfield
Dr. Camee Maddox-Wingfield is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. As a cultural anthropologist, Dr. Maddox-Wingfield’s research interests center on cultural activism and identity formation in Caribbean and African diaspora dance communities, with a primary focus on the French Caribbean. She is especially interested in the various ways that dance expression intersects with cultural politics, spirituality, and healing in communities suffering from colonial and/or racial oppression. Her work also explores the ways in which dance becomes an expression of protest, resistance and solidarity.
Dr. Maddox-Wingfield is currently working on a book project that is tentatively titled Rhythmic Consolation: Bèlè’s Rebirth in Contemporary Martinique. The book interrogates the cultural politics and power dynamics that shape the contemporary discourse and practice of bèlè – a traditional drum-dance complex in Martinique . In this work, Maddox-Wingfield situates bèlè as a site for intervening in ongoing debates about (non)sovereignty and the complexities of French national secularism.
The book project is being developed along with a virtual exhibition that will serve as a multimedia companion to the book, promoting wider public engagement with digital scholarship on performative cultural traditions. Her research has been published in the journal Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, engaging bèlè performance from Black feminist perspectives to analyze the therapeutic impact and the function of sensual expressivity in bèlè for women dancers. She also contributed a chapter in a new edited volume titled Embodying Black Religions in Africa and its Diasporas published by Duke University Press September 2021.
Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans
From WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the producers of the Peabody-nominated and Regional Edward R. Murrow award-winning Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul, comes a new audio docu-series chronicling the history of Haiti and Haitian influences on the music, culture, and community of New Orleans and contextualizing the nation’s historical importance through its considerable artistic and musical traditions.
The nationally distributed production is hosted by Haitian-American and New Orleans-based musician Leyla McCalla, a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and is produced by Alex Lewis, and award-winning independent radio producer and musician.
The documentary features interviews and music from Haitian performers Boukman Eksperyans, Paul Beaubrun, RAM, Lakou Mizik, Chico Boyer, Win Butler & Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire, Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, Ben Jaffe of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and more.
RAM "Kite Jouda Yo Pale" (Let People Gossip)
Boukman Eksperyans "Jou Nou Revolte" (The Day We Revolt)
Malou Beauvoir "Kenbe M" (Hold Me)
RAM "Fey" (Leaves/Herbs)
Boukman Eksperyans "Ke M Pa Sote" (MY HEART DOESN'T JUMP)
Malou Beauvoir (feat. Paul Beaubrun) "Rasenbleman"
RAM " Se Pa Saw Te Di" (That's Not What You Said)
Boukman Eksperyans "Kan'w Pran'w Konen"
Malou Beauvoir "Nwaye" (Drown)
During our November Third Thursday convening, Sosena Solomon and Peter Decherney, directors of DREAMING OF JERUSALEM (a film about the Jewish community in Gondar), and Michelle Y. Hurtubise will discuss different forms of collaboration.
Sosena Solomon is an award winning social documentary film and multimedia visual artist from Ethiopia. Intuitively selecting subjects and stories, she is particularly interested in spaces of transition and change, acting as a cultural preservationist. Her work, whether presented as a film or an immersive 3-dimensional experience, explores cross sections of various subcultures and communities in flux, carefully teasing out cultural nuances and capturing personal narratives via arresting visual storytelling and cinéma vérité stylings. Sosena has worked for many years in the commercial and nonprofit sectors and has worked as a Director and Cinematographer on many short film projects including “Sole”, a documentary on sneaker culture that premiered on PBS affiliate MINDTV, and “MERKATO,” filmed on location in one of Africa’s largest open-air markets and exhibited internationally as an audio, visual, and sensory installation. Sosena earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Social Documentary Film from The School of Visual Arts in New York, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Television Production from Temple University. She is a recipient of The Leeway Foundation Art and Change grant (2013) and the Transformation Award (2014).
Peter Decherney is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and teacher. He is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar. Since 2015, he has directed a series of documentary and virtual reality films about global migration and on the political role of artists. FILMMAKING FOR DEMOCRACY IN MYANMAR (2015) took viewers into the world of Myanmar’s politically subversive straight-to-DVD film industry. His first virtual reality project explored an experimental refugee settlement in Kenya near the South Sudanese border. He followed with a 12-episode docuseries THE HEART OF PUERTO RICO (co-directed with Jean Lee) about artists after Hurricane Maria. The series won Best Virtual Reality Experience at the 2020 AT&T Film Awards. His most recent film, DREAMING OF JERUSALEM (co-directed with Sosena Solomon), about the Jewish community in Gondar, Ethiopia, is a Discovery+ Original. He is also the author or editor of six books including Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet and Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, and Inside Higher Ed, among other places. His free online course on the history of Hollywood has enrolled more that 65,000 learners.
Michelle Y. Hurtubise (she/her) is a Visual Anthropology Ph.D. candidate at Temple University researching narrative sovereignty, Indigenous media, and diverse festival networks through the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the development of Kin Theory, a global Indigenous media makers database. With a background in arts and activism, she did human rights and media work in Rio de Janeiro as part of her Master’s thesis at New York University, and she received a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Michelle was a Flaherty Film Seminar Fellow and a Society for Visual Anthropology/Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellow. Currently a research strategist at the Nia Tero foundation, she has also worked with the Center for Artistic Activism and the Center for Media, Culture, and History.
Join us for Business as (Un)Usual talkback with Maisha Akbar and Brian Shapiro
Business as s(Un)Usual, a multi-modal work written, produced and starring Dr. Maisha Akbar and Brian Shapiro, MA, satirizes the question “Why can’t white men listen to Black women?” In this discussion of the film which premiered at 2020 the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, Akbar and Shapiro will address reactions to the film’s content as well as its methodology. The discussion will also center upon Business as (Un)Usual’s use of ethnographic practices as well as race, and gender issues as explored through personal narratives and music performances. The discussion will be recorded via video, with footage used to create a short film about the discussion itself. All participants will be provided a password-protected link to Business as (Un)Usual for viewing prior to the discussion.
In this panel, Aimee Cox (Yale University), Peter Morin (Tahltan Nation, OCAD University), Ayumi Goto (OCAD University), Marlon Swai (University of Cape Town), Dara Culhane (Simon Fraser University) explored artistic modalities and co-laboring as ways of knowing that offer a multi-modal attunement without pinning down or leaning on a redemptive ‘truth’. The panelists offered reflections and performances that attend to institutional and epistemic violence reproduced in the academy, state or extra/judicial systems. They looked to spaces and ways of making knowledge differently that challenge us to reimagine ways of being together and collaborate in research; modes of knowing that refuse and unsettle the ‘comforts’ provided by established canons of what constitutes ‘good’ research methods, conceptual conceits and community entanglements. Together, they reflected on on praxis, reciprocity, and esthetic engagements as ways of being and knowing in this particular moment of reckoning with liberal academic discourses on anti-racism and decolonization. Watch the full event here.
The event was sponsored by the Wenner Gren and Organized by the Association of Black Anthropologists, Anthropology Southern Africa, the Center for Experimental Ethnography, and the Transformative Memory Network ,
We were joined by the Center for Experimental Ethnography's Fall Fellows, Cristiana Giordano, Greg Pierotti and Ricardo Bracho. They discussed their fall classes as well as projects they are working on.
A CONTINUING CONVERSATION ABOUT MOVE AND THE PENN MUSEUM
The recent revelations concerning the Penn Museum and human remains have raised a number of questions about the histories of anthropology and ethnographic museums, and about the practices of collecting, exhibiting, and researching:
Our guests Rachel Watkins (American University), Aja Lans (Syracuse University), and Delande Justinvil (American University) will help us think through these questions, and more…
PRE-READINGS / VIEWINGS
Blakey, M. L. (2020). “Archaeology under the blinding light of race.” Current Anthropology, 61(S22), S183-S197.
Justinvil, D. & Colwell, C. 2021. “US museums hold the remains of thousands of Black people. What can be done about it?” Available at:
Lans, Aja. 2020. “Decolonize This Collection: Integrating Black Feminism and Art to Re-Examine Human Skeletal Remains in Museums.” Feminist Anthropology DOI: 10.1002/fea2.12027
Watkins, Rachel. 2020. “An Alter(ed)native Perspective on Historical Bioarchaeology.” Historical Archaeology 53(4).
Reclaiming the Ancestors: Indigenous and Black Perspectives on Repatriation, Human Rights, and Justice, September 2020.
The event featured Reggie Wilson in conversation with CEE Director Deborah Thomas, Jasmine Johnson, John L. Jackson Jr. and Jawole Zollar
ABOUT THIS EVENT
On May 1, we were honored to host a conversation featuring Reggie Wilson in dialogue with Jasmine Johnson, John Jackson, and Jawole Zollar regarding the film, “GROUNDS THAT SHOUT!...and others merely shaking.” This film emerged from Reggie’s work in 2018-2019, sponsored by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage and organized through Philadelphia Contemporary, the Danspace Project, and Partners for Sacred Places. For this project, Reggie curated dance with local choreographers and dance groups at historical churches in Philadelphia. “Grounds that Shout!” was meant to explore the relationships between religion, movement, race, place, and the body, and to foreground how the histories of contemporary performance are intertwined with the legacies of African-American religious and religiously-affiliated spaces. Graduate students in CAMRA documented the project, With generous support from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, graduate students in CAMRA, and the resulting film, which was circulated ahead of time, provided the basis for our conversation. The film bears witness to Reggie’s process, documenting the development of movement, the relationships between performers and space, and the city and its denizens. The conversation was wide-ranging, addressing the overlapping circles of performance, method, and community-building, and the simultaneity of past and present. Listening to the distinct sounds of places and bodies in the film became an important way of becoming literate, of being able to hear the ground shout. And rapport with death, in this work, became a generative possibility where choreography was a practice of life.
The film was Directed and Produced by Gordon Divine "Dee" Asaah.
Executive Producer: Center for Experimental Ethnography in collaboration with CAMRA (Collective for Advancing Multimodal Research Arts)
Watch the dicussion HERE
A program curated and organized by Jenny Chio, Spring 2021 Visiting Fellow at the Center for Experimental Ethnography (University of Pennsylvania) and Associate Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures and Anthropology at the University of Southern California.
With eleven films, three dialogues, two essays, and one live Zoom conversation, this film series illustrated the productive “unruliness” (to quote U Penn Professor Chenshu Zhou) of ethnography and film in exploring the contours of Indigenous identities and politics. Indigeneity, as the films and conversations revealed, encompasses stories of personal loss and memories of suffering, reflections on current social transformations and cultural subjectivities, and narratives of state violence and power in marginalized communities and upon individuals. Filmmaking has become a means to confront the lived realities of cultural and ethnic differences, claims to political sovereignty, and shared social histories that together constitute some of the possibilities of Indigenous experiences in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. [While the films are no longer available, the event website with film and filmmaker descriptions, dialogues, and essays is online: www.filmandethnography.org.]
This film and conversation series explores the category and concept of “Indigeneity” in the contemporary People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In each political space, “Indigenous” has come to represent and symbolize the different stakes of identity, culture, and heritage in the modern world, while grappling with ongoing political tensions around national sovereignty, China’s global influence, and social solidarity. Whereas “Indigenous” in Hong Kong now refers to both a nativist political movement and marginalized communities that settled in Hong Kong prior to British colonial rule, in Taiwan Indigenous refers to Austronesian Aboriginal communities who align themselves with contemporary global Indigenous activists. In China, the term Indigenous itself is highly contested, as the Chinese state increasingly resists and represses claims to cultural self-determination amongst its ethnic minority populations. Thus, the films and speakers in this event all approach Indigeneity from their own personal backgrounds and experiences as citizens, artists, and scholars from and working in China, Hong Kong, and/or Taiwan.
The Contest over "Indigeneity": Film and Ethnography in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan is an online exhibit includeing an event website, eleven films, three prerecorded discussions, and biographies of event guests, as well as a virtual screening week (Friday April 23- Friday April 30) and a live zoom discussion (Thursday April 29 at 7PM EDT).
Event hosted by the Center for Experimental Ethnography, and co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at Penn, and Penn Global
film screening week | Friday April 23 -April 30, 2021
During this weeklong film screening, we invited participants to watch films by artists working on Indigeneity in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, curated by Jenny Chio. Information on these artists can be found here.
We also invited attendees to listen to the pre-recorded conversations between the filmmakers, curator Jenny Chio, and invited scholars.
LIVE CONVERSATION | Thursday april 29 at 7PM
The live discussion on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7 pm EST/EDT took place with CEE Faculty Fellow Dr. Jenny Chio, Cui Yi (filmmaker and conservation ecologist), Dr. Aynur Kadi (assistant professor of Digital Media Arts at the University of Waterloo), Dr. Chenshu Zhou (Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies in the Department of History of Art at UPENN), Chan Ho-Lun Fredie (filmmaker and producer), Li Xin (a visual anthropologist and filmmaker), Dr. Miguel Angel Hidalgo Martinez (Assistant Professor of China Studies at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University)
As many of you know, it was revealed last week that the remains of two of the children killed when the City of Philadelphia dropped two bombs on the MOVE compound in 1985 – Tree and Delisha Africa – had been held in the Penn Museum and used for research and teaching. Mike Africa, Jr., a MOVE family member, has circulated a number of demands including the return of the remains to the MOVE family, an apology and appropriate restitution, and the creation of a transparent, public investigation led by a MOVE-approved investigator into how these remains ended up in the Museum’s possession over the past 35 years. The Museum and the University have both issued statements.
Still, the questions remain:
The Center for Experimental Ethnography will facilitate a dialogue about these questions with Krystal Strong (GSE, Black Lives Matter Philly), who has been working closely with the Africa family and the MOVE community to develop a counter-archive.
Pablo D. Herrera Veitia is currently a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews, UK. Arguably Cuba’s most influential beat-maker and a pioneer of the Afro-Cuban and Cuban Hiphop sounds, his research follows the question; What is it like to be Afro-Cuban in Havana today? It explores how the presence of amplified urban Afro-Cuban music in public and domestic settings may be construed as a form of citizenship.
Herrera Veitia was the recipient of a 2018-2019 Nasir Jones Fellowship at the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute (HARI), Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University. Hearing Afro-Cuban Rap, the archival project he began in collaboration with the HARI and Loeb Music Library treats golden-era Afro-Cuban rap songs, in particular, as the meaningful ethnographies that best articulate the counter-narratives that drove the racial debate into Cuba's public sphere between 1995 and 2004.
To his credit as a cultural producer goes the coordination of the Black August Collective showcases in Havana. A series of US-Cuba people-to-people music events, Black August, brought to Havana's International Rap Festival, presentations by Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s Black Star, Hi-Tek, Dead Prez, Common, Tony Touch, and Project Blowed between 1998 and 2002. He was also instrumental in The Roots concert in Havana, amongst other projects.
MARCH 18th at NOON
Listen to the presentation and lively discussion now!
Alissa Jordan is a multimodal cultural anthropologist who received her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on questions of bodily being, bodily security, and creativity across field sites in rural Haiti, urban Ghana, and in social spaces in virtual and augmented reality. She investigates these questions using methods of experimental writing, collaborative nonlinear filmmaking, sensory mapping, photography, museum exhibition, and digital experimentations. She is currently researching women's experiences of birthing, and care as resistance, in the context of hospitals that imprison mothers, infants, and other patients for debt.
She produced the audio documentary "Birthing and Resistance" on hospital detention in Haiti, with the first episode co-hosted with photo-journalist and birth activist China Tolliver, and she is the host of "Akouchman ak Rezistans", a Haitian Creole audio documentary on hospital detention.
Carmelle Moise is a nurse midwife and a member of the board at MamaBaby Haiti MamaBaby Haiti is a non-profit which runs two birth centers, health clinics, and a midwifery school in Haiti. It provides a safe place for Haitian women to receive compassionate and respectful care at the hands of skilled midwives. No one is turned away.
Michel Pierre Saint Phard is an English Teacher from Arcahaie, Haiti studying to be a Medical Assistant in Westbury, New York. In his life, Saint Phard has farmed a plantain garden, ran into a deadly fire to save the lives of fellow workers, worked in numerous NGOs, and (like many Haitians) helped pull people from the wreckage of the 2010 earthquake when foreign workers and US military were boarded up in an airport fortress downtown.
In 2014, he was an invited speaker at the University of Florida for his talk "Why YOU Need US," a conversation on America and Aid Projects in Haiti. He has worked on research projects related to anthropology and medicine with Alissa Jordan since 2012.
MARCH 15th AT 6PM EST
15 MARZO @ 17:30 (GMT-5)
Documenting Discontent is a virtual audio event that will take place on March 15th at 5:30 PM eastern. This one-hour virtual event will bring together two Mexico-based sound artists/researchers, Karina Franco Villaseñor (nê.i) and Vladimir Flores García (Vlax) to discuss their creative practices in sound. Funded by the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation and with support from the Center for Experimental Ethnography, this event is interested in the ways sound is used to document microhistories and communicate social imaginaries derived from protest and conflict, the deconstruction of acoustic pleasure, and the power of sound to reinforce relationships and political dynamics. Drawing on Franco Villaseñor and Flores García's experiences as researchers, teachers, and creators, the conversation will consider the challenges and potentials of sonic archiving and question the construction of official narratives. The event will be conducted in Spanish with simultaneous translation into English and will be open to the public. Select works by the two artists will be made available for listening online in the days prior to the event and will be available following the one-hour discussion.
Documentando el descontento es una conferencia virtual a realizarse el 15 de marzo a las 17:30 (GMT-5) . Este evento de una hora de duración es un conversatorio entre los artistas Karina Franco Villaseñor (nê.i) y Vladimir Flores García (Vlax) quienes compartirán reflexiones sobre sus investigaciones y trabajo creativo en torno al sonido. Con financiamiento del “Sachs Program for Arts Innovation” y apoyo del Centro para la Etnografía Experimental de la Universidad de Pensylvania, este evento busca reflexionar sobre las maneras en que el sonido se utiliza para documentar microhistorias y comunicar imaginarios sociales derivados de la inconformidad y el conflicto social, la deconstrucción del placer acústico y el poder del sonido para reforzar las interacciones humanas y las dinámicas políticas. Considerando la experiencia de Franco Villaseñor y Flores García como investigadores, docentes y creadores, este conversatorio examina los retos y posibilidades de los archivos sonoros al tiempo que reflexiona sobre la construcción de narrativas oficiales. Este evento es gratuito y tendrá traducción simultánea de español a inglés. Durante el evento, se considerará algunas obras sonoras de los dos artistas en más detalle y estarán disponibles para su escucha en los días antes del evento e inmediatamente después.
DOCUMENTING DISCONTENT: SOUNDINGS
In “Documenting Discontent: Soundings,” Karina Franco Villaseñor (nêi) and Vladimir Flores García (Vlax) mix and remix new sounds with existing audio projects, playing with their own works and with each other’s. This selection of remixed audio, accompanied by text and images, was curated by nêi and Vlax for the March 2021 event, Documenting Discontent/Documentando el Descontento.
En “Documenting Discontent: Soundings,” Karina Franco Villaseñor (nêi) y Vladimir Flores García (Vlax) mezclan y remezclan nuevos sonidos con proyectos previos, jugando con sus propios sonidos y con los sonidos del otro. Esta selección de audio, con textos e imágenes, fue curada por nêi y Vlax para el evento Documenting Discontent/Documentando el Descontento (Marzo de 2021).
Meet the Artists/Conocer a los artistas
Vladimir Flores García, Vlax
Vladimir Flores García is a multimedia artisan and a graduate of Mexico’s National Autonomous University’s Faculty of Arts and Design. Since 2000, his work has incorporated community journalism and education. He has worked as a news correspondent for independent and public outlets in Mexico (Radio UNAM), the United States (Radio Bilingüe, KPFT, FSRN), and Europe (Radio Nederland, RFI). Vlax is a member of the Dyne.org Foundation, where he investigates decolonial technology using open software tools. He lives in Oaxaca and enjoys cooking vegetarian food. https://vlax.dyne.org/
Vladimir Flores García (México, 1974) es artesano multimedia egresado de la Facultad de Artes y Diseño de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Desde el año 2000 su trabajo cultural incorpora el periodismo comunitario y la educación. Ha trabajado como corresponsal de noticias en medios independientes y públicos de México (Radio UNAM), Estados Unidos (Radio Bilingüe, KPFT, FSRN) y Europa (Radio Nederland, RFI). Es integrante de la Dyne.org Foundation con la que investiga la tecnología decolonial utilizando herramientas de software libre. Reside en Oaxaca y cocina vegetariano. https://vlax.dyne.org
Karina Franco Villaseñor, nê.i
Karina F. Villaseñor (Mexico, 1985), works in audio production and post-production on a wide range of multimedia projects. She received her Masters degree in Music Technology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and her bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Sciences from the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana. Her work engages the intersection of sound, body, and perceptive ecology. Her research has been published in academic volumes in Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Spain, and Turkey. She has collaborated on projects with national and international producers, with an emphasis on documentary projects and sound design for immersive experiences. Since 2009, she has crafted training curricula for educational centers and universities in Mexico City and surrounding areas.
Karina F. Villaseñor, mexicana, 1985, se dedica a la producción y post de audio en colaboración con diversos proyectos multimedia. Es Maestra en Tecnología musical por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México y Lic. en C. Audiovisual por la UCSJ. Su trabajo se motiva del cruce entre sonido, cuerpo y ecología perceptiva. Como investigadora ha sido publicada en algunas compilaciones académicas en México, Chile, Uruguay, España y Turquía. Como creadora ha cooperado activamente con productoras nacionales e internacionales, con énfasis en registro documental y diseño sonoro para sistemas inmersivos. Desde el 2009 teje con procesos formativos para centros educativos y universitarios en Ciudad de México y alrededores. https://soundcloud.com/nei-villasenor
6 PM MARCH 8th
On International Women's Day 2021, the Center for Experimental Ethnography is pleased to present Haitian filmmaker Etant Dupain's feature "Madan Sara: Pouvwa Fanm Aysiyen" (Madan Sara: The Power of Haitian Women) followed by a discussion between Etant Dupain (Director, Madan Sara), Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles (Associate Professor of French and the Graduate Program Director at Boston College), and Lunise Cerin (Editor, Madan Sara). The CEE screening of Madan Sara follows a four-day series of free, public screenings of the film throughout Haiti, supported by matenmidiswa pwodiksyon
"The women known as Madan Sara are on the forefront of the battle for a more robust and inclusive economy in Haiti. They work tirelessly to buy, distribute, and sell food and other essentials in markets through the country. Despite the obstacles faced by the women working in a sector that lacks investment, infrastructure and state assistance, the Madan Sara continue to be one of the most critical parts of the Haitian economy and of who we are as a country. The Madan Sara documentary tells the stories of these indefatigable women who work at the margins to make Haiti’s economy run. Despite facing intense hardship and social stigma, the hard work of the Madan Sara puts their children through school, houses their families, and helps to ensure a better life for generations to come. This film amplifies the calls of the Madan Sara as they speak directly to society to share their dreams for a more just Haiti."
WATCH THE DISCUSSION
Meet The Discussants
Director, Madan Sara
Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles
Associate Professor of French and African and African Diaspora Studies, Boston College
Her first book, Conflict Bodies: The Politics of Rape Representation in the Francophone Imaginary (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2014) examines theoretical, visual, and literary texts in order to challenge the dominant views of sexual violence. She has authored over 30 publications that have appeared in books, edited volumes, and peer-reviewed journals. Her second academic book Looking for Other Worlds: Black Feminism, Literary Ethics, and Haitian Fiction is currently under contract with University of Virginia Press. Her book A Trumpet of Conscience for the 21st Century: King’s Call to Justice is forthcoming with Orbis Press in 2021.
Much of Dr. Jean-Charles’s activist work has been with A Long Walk Home, where she began as founding board member in 2003. A Long Walk Home, Inc., is a non-profit organization that uses art to educate, inspire, and mobilize young people to end violence against girls and women. Her involvement in ALWH ranged from performing in Story of a Rape Survivor, a multi-media arts performance about black women and sexual assault, conducting workshops for the Girl/Friends Leadership Institute in Chicago, to giving lectures at universities across the country on topics such as study abroad and sexual assault. Her work with the Boston area includes initiatives with Shatter the Silence a faith-based initiative to address sexual violence and AFAB the Haitian Women’s Association of Boston.
Dr. Jean-Charles is also a regular contributor to media outlets like The Boston Globe, WGBH, America Magazine, and Cognoscenti, where she has weighed in on topics including #metoo and issues affecting the Haitian diaspora.
Editor, Madan Sara
The Madan Sara project is raising funds to support their efforts to bring the film to communities in Haiti through free, public screenings. We invite you to make a contribution of any size to support this mission. To learn more about the film and join in the conversation online, visit MadanSaraFilm.com, use the hashtag #MadanSara across social media, and follow @madansarayiti on Twitter and @MadanSaraFilm on Instagram.
Building on our work to create Black spaces for creation, exploration, and community, this will be a free and virtual convening that will feature our 2020 artists-in-residence and several other Black radical performance makers and scholars from around Philadelphia and beyond.
Featuring keynotes from Ebony Noelle Golden and Germaine Ingram, original work by Viktor L. Ewing-Givens, workshops and an artist talk from Misty Sol (Philadelphia, PA), Danielle Deadwyler (Atlanta, GA), Ada Pinkston (Baltimore, MD), and Crystal Z Campbell (Tulsa, OK), a BSR commissioned Philly Black Caribbean Zine Workshop and Share Out curated by Shanel Edwards (featuring work by - Tahnee Jackson, Charlyn Griffith-Oro, Angela Salmon and Nikolai McKenzie Ben Rema) and a Black Diaspora Artist Salon hosted by Jumatatu Poe, this digital convening is celebrating and learning from the centuries-long Black freedom dialectic between the Caribbean and Philadelphia, as we launch new spaces in our residency program for artists in the Caribbean.
This convening is presented in partnership with the Center for Experimental Ethnography (CEE) at Penn and Howlround.
Project support provided by Added Velocity which is administered by Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University and funded by the William Penn Foundation.
Ebony Noelle Golden | Opening Keynote and Welcome Event
4:30 PM EST
Opening offerings by Black Spatial Relics Director, Arielle Julia Brown, Viktor L Ewing-Givens, Center for Experimental Ethnography Director, Dr. Deborah Thomas, and a featured keynote from Ebony Noelle Golden!
Artist Talk - Moderated by Arielle Julia Brown
6:30 PM EST
Join our 2020 Artists-in-Residence, Misty Sol (Philadelphia, PA), Danielle Deadwyler (Atlanta, GA), Ada Pinkston (Baltimore, MD), and Crystal Z Campbell (Tulsa, OK) for a conversation about the intersections of their work, moderated by Black Spatial Relics Director, Arielle Julia Brown.
Workshop With Danielle Deadwyler
11:00 AM EST
In this workshop experience, we will engage a documentary offering, then use its visual language to locate and develop communal and personal gestures of labor, ritual, and redaction.
Workshop With Ada Pinkston
3:00 PM EST
Join this workshop for a screening of the performance, "and there were other stories...." (a work in progress in response to the Hampton National Historic site) and conversation/listening/talkback.
Caribbean Zine Workshop Share Out
Hosted and Curated by Shanel Edwards
6:00 PM EST
This offering is a zine workshop centering Black Caribbean folks rooted in Philadelphia, their stories, their songs, their spirits. Featuring work by Tahnee Jackson, Charlyn Griffith-Oro, Angela Salmon and Nikolai McKenzie Ben Rema.
Workshop With Misty Sol
11:00 AM EST
In this workshop, we will explore the ways afro-futurist consciousness was preserved and incubated in Black women's' kitchens, gardens, and private spaces. Through breathing, movement, memory, and baking, we investigate how to incorporate the Black ways of knowing, into our creative and educational practices.
Workshop With Crystal Z Campbell
3:00 PM EST
An interactive sound-centered workshop will be led by artist Crystal Z Campbell and a sonic specialist. Working with a range of archival and contemporary prompts and engaging the performative possibilities of sound within and of the body, we'll develop a series of recordings. The collaborative recordings generated by the workshop will be used for the experiment feature film SLICK's soundtrack.
Black Diaspora Artist Salon
Curated and Hosted by Jumatatu Poe
6:00 PM EST
Join our Black Diaspora Artist Salon featuring critical conversations and work sharing by artists from around the Black Diaspora.
Register hereFebruary 27
Germaine Ingram | Keynote and Closing Event
12:00 PM EST
Join Black Spatial Relics for closing remarks, engage in a closing offering by Viktor L Ewing-Givens, and a closing keynote by Germaine Ingram.
Project support provided by Added Velocity which is administered by Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University and funded by the William Penn Foundation.
BLACK SPATIAL RELICS is a national residency program, founded and directed by Arielle Julia Brown. The Black Spatial Relics Residency is made possible with support from the JKW Foundation, Velocity Fund, W. Trust, Black Seed, Leeway Foundation, Monument Lab, and independent donors. Black Spatial Relics is a fiscally sponsored project of both Fractured Atlas and Notch Theatre Company. For more information about the 2020 artists in residence, their work, past artists in residence, and the 2021 convening, visit www.blackspatialrelics.org.
Arielle Julia Brown | Founder + Director
Joseph Tolbert Jr. | Convening Producer
Malkia Okech | Associate Producer
Cesali Morales | Graphic Designer
REGISTER HERE: The Forum will be a free and online program.
Participatory Dance & Choreography Workshop on "Choice"
March 3, 2021 (Wednesday)
1:00 pm—2:00 pm
ONLINE EVENT- REGISTER HERE
Dawn Marie Bazemore
Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance,
Philadelphia's Premier Modern Dance Company
Join us for a live virtual interactive workshop that explores the Wolf Humanities Center's annual topic of "Choice" through the embodied practice of dance and art-making. Led by Dawn Marie Bazemore and lead dancers from Philadanco, this workshop welcomes participation from all backgrounds and skill levels.
Support for this workshop and Dancers Choices, Choreographers Choices provided by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.
Dawn Marie Bazemore is a Philadelphia-based dance artist and educator. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Rowan University and the Artistic Director of her own dance collective DMB|#dbdanceproject. Dawn Marie is a former member of Philadanco and has also performed featured roles in Broadway and regional musical theatre productions. Her performance of Strange Fruit, choreographed by the late Dr. Pearl Primus, is currently on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Dancers' Choice Choreographers' Choices
March 3, 2021 (Wednesday)
ONLINE EVENT - REGISTER HERE
Philadelphia's Premier Modern Dance Company
Dawn Marie Bazemore
Dance Artist; Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance, Rowan University
Jasmine E. Johnson
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies,
University of Pennsylvania
Deborah A. Thomas
Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Doctoral Candidate, Penn English
Lead dancers from Philadelphia’s premier modern dance company perform a piece that pays homage to the Yoruba deity Oshun, the protector, savior, and nurturer of humanity. Following this special performance, Dixon Li will moderate a conversation among the dancers and dance scholars Jasmine Johnson, Deborah Thomas, and Dawn Marie Bazemore, that touches upon the choice to dance, choreography and choice, and performance and choice.
Support for Dancers' Choices, Choreographers' Choices provided by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. Cosponsored by the Department of Africana Studies and the Center for Africana Studies.
FEB 18th @ NOON
Ricardo A. Bracho is currently Sachs Artist-in-Residence in the Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies program here at Penn, where he teaches creative and critical writing. His plays have been staged read, workshopped, and premiered in theaters and at universities nationwide. He has a committed focus on working with feminist, queer, Latiina/o, community-based, and experimental theaters including Mabou Mines, INTAR, and Company of Angels. His plays have also been staged read and workshopped at Vassar, Stanford, DePaul University, and the University of California campuses at Riverside, Berkeley, Irvine, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara. His past academic appointments include Artist/Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Chicano Studies at UC Santa Barbara and the Multicultural Faculty position at The Theatre School at DePaul University. His plays include The Sweetest Hangover, Sissy, Mexican Psychotic, and Puto. He has worked in independent film and video as an art director, in casting, and as a script, grant, and editorial consultant, primarily with queer, black, and brown makers, including Augie Robles, Cauleen Smith, and Ela Troyano.
As a producer and dramaturge, he has helped stage anti-gentrification street theater in Boyle Heights and the works of Lisa Thompson, Brian Bauman, and Sigrid Gilmer. He began this theater career some thirty years ago as Assistant Director to Cherrie Moraga’s DramaDIVAS, writing for a performance workshop for queer and trans youth of color. He was a co-founder of Proyecto ContraSIDA Por VIDA, a San Francisco based Latina/o LGBT HIV service agency. He has also worked on curriculums, media campaigns, research and funding for FIERCE!, AIDS Project Los Angeles, and Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. He was a researcher on The H.I.P. H.O.P. Project (Health in Prison, Health Outta Prison) for young men in San Quentin Prison. He was interviewed on The Blunt Project in New York. He is developing two chapbooks of poetry, The Salt of Him and Under Quarantine.
PENN MUSEUM 336