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 TRAILER
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.
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.
For our first Third Thursday of Spring Semester 2021, CEE opened with Deborah Thomas offering comments on Jenny Chio's work as a filmmaker, a writer, and also as a fieldworker, followed by an introduction to the work and background of Reggie Wilson, who is a choreographer, researcher, and artist
Jenny offered preliminary comments on her experience of returning to teaching and the change in priorities since COVID-19 and quarantine, as well has how impressed she has been with the resilience she has seen in LA and around the world.
Reggie spoke about identifying as a "lay anthropologist" in his artistic practice, drawing from his experiences reading Zora Neale Hurston. While reading Hurston as a student, Reggie began asking questions about what it means for him to examine cultures and communities that he is a part of. He reflected on his virtual travel back and forth between home sites, like Milwaukee, and the place of his work in New York, given the exigencies of COVID, and how the places you are, and who you are and what you are shape what your questions are and what your questions have been
Deb, asking after the way Jenny works, followed with a provocation about the relationship between people and place and what holds that relationship together. Jenny responded with the obligation to locality, and not the same as the obligation to countries. As well as the different ways she herself is coming to terms with both critique of nation and the support experienced within nations, contributing to who she is as ascholar. She spoke of the need for space to define such relationships ina way that is both critical and empathetic, critical and supportive.
Reggie spoke both of people and place as concepts that are both "infinite," the difference groups we expand into. It plays out in who you are and what you are trained to do, that influence of locality, of place, is not small in who we are. If people is the body, or the bodies, then place, or choreographic space, is the "where the body does its things". Also, Reggie offered reflections on place not just as a physical site outside the body, but place as site---place can be within one's head, or a specific spot on a wrist.
Jenny continued with reflections on portraiture and people and place, specifically, in portraiture asking what is the place that gets created in the contact between person and place. Furthermore, how people and objects come to make a place within the realm of portraiture.
In the question and answer session, Ore asked after process and positionality starting with Reggie who spoke of going first to begin research, the ways it moves between non-linear explorations and the pressure to make it linear for the sake of grant writing. But once established, there is a a research period, followed by being in the space, feeling it out, then sometimes the need to bring the company in, or part of the company, so that several people can begin moving in a space, then external forces and pressures to define it, to find definitions for the sake of presenting and funding.
Jenny Chio reflected on being introduced to a particular site for her PhD, and how things have unraveled between one village she worked in, the loss of touch with the field, and the way that a difference developed in relationship between towns and between times. She is thinking critically about preserving and nurturing relationships, and the work that it takes. And the difference in time in the research relationship, both over time, and in the way the length of time spent in research changes so dramatically.
Jenny also went on to speak of portraiture as context, the roll of setting, the relationship between the sitter and the photographer, and also the sitter and all the objects, the sites involved.
Jasmine Blanks-Jones posed a question about personhood to the speakers, asking for comments about how and where personhood is located. doesn't just reside in a body but between bodies, between individual bodies.
Reggie than offered reflections on site and place---the example of dance exploring site, diving into it. The need to understand different definitions of site.
Va Bene Elikem Fiatsi, posed a question about place in the context of the term "Africans in the Americas", and the mutations and relationships that the term implies. Reggie responded by turning attention tot the importance of local specifities and places in the lives of artists and people, and the critical process of "local" sites in shaping who people are.
Reggie Wilson is Executive and Artistic Director, Choreographer and Performer of Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group. His work draws from the cultures of Africans in the Americas and is combined with post-modern elements and his own personal movement style to create what he sometimes refers to as "post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances." He has lectured, taught and conducted workshops and community projects, and had his work presented nationally and internationally. Wilson is a recipient of the Minnesota Dance Alliance's McKnight National Fellowship (2000-2001), is a 2002 BESSIE recipient, and is a 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Wilson has been an artist advisor for the National Dance Project, a Board Member of Dance Theater Workshop, and in recognition of his creative contributions to the field, was named a 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow, as well as being a recipient of the 2009 Herb Alpert Award in Dance. In 2012 he was named a Wesleyan University’s Creative Campus Fellow, received an inaugural Doris Duke Performing Artist Award; And received the 2012 Joyce Foundation Award for his successful work Moses(es) that premiered in 2013. His critically acclaimed work CITIZEN premiered 2016 (FringeArts – World; BAM NextWave 2016 - NYC) and is currently touring. Wilson was curator of Danspace Project’s Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) and created the commissioned work “…they stood shaking while others began to shout” specifically for the space at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. Most recently, he curated Grounds That Shout! (and others merely shaking), a series of performances in Philadelphia’s historic sacred spaces. His newest work is titled POWER.
Jenny Chio is Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Anthropology at the University of Southern California. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths College, University of London. As a cultural anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker, her writing and filmmaking explore the shifting intersections of subjectivity, collective memory, and modernity, with an emphasis on race, ethnicity, and cultural heritage as powerful categories in the contemporary world. She investigates these issues through long-term ethnographic fieldwork and documentary filmmaking on independent and vernacular media practices, urbanization and the transformation of rural landscapes and livelihoods, and cultural tourism in the People's Republic of China. Her 2014 book, A Landscape of Travel: The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China, and 2013 film, 农家乐Peasant Family Happiness, examine how the expediencies of tourism, from landscapes and architecture to “learning to be ethnic” for tourists, have shaped the lives and livelihoods of rural, ethnic minority village residents in Southwest China. Her current projects include an ethnography of vernacular media practices in rural China and an ethnographic portrait film of two Miao women in Guizhou province. Most recently, she has written about tourism and race, theorizing ethnographic film, festival crowds and ethnic body politics, and the vernacular videography of bullfights. She served as Co-Editor of the journal Visual Anthropology Review from 2016-2018 and as Co-Curator of the Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival in 2013 and 2014. Her website is www.jennychio.com.
– Sun Ra
How do you archive something that hasn’t happened yet? What would an archive of the end of the world look like?
On December 3rd at 5 PM EST, Center for Experimental Ethnography fellow Christina Knight and choreographer Jessi Knight of knightworks dance theater will discuss their forthcoming short film, “doomsday: field notes,” a fictional work documenting a mysterious set of ritual practices discovered by an anthropologist from the future. In the film, fragments of dance, glimpses of community building, and invocations of black feminist writing reveal a “doomsday church” invested in charting a black future. For this conversation, knightworks will share their creative and collaborative process, screen clips of the work-in-progress, and discuss their investments in the black speculative.
Christina Knight is Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at Haverford College. Knight's work examines the connection between embodied practices and identity, the relationship between race and the visual field, and the queer imaginary. She is currently completing a book manuscript that focuses on represents of the Middle Passage in contemporary American visual art and performance. Knight is also at work on a new project that examines the influences of drag culture on contemporary black art. Jessi Knight is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer from Pittsboro, N.C. After graduating from Duke University with a self-designed dance degree with an emphasis in music and education, Jessi embarked on a teaching and choreographing career that has afforded her the opportunity to teach, choreograph and perform both locally and nationally. She spent four years in Denver, Colorado as a member of the internationally acclaimed Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and currently resides in North Carolina where she continues to choreograph and perform on a project by project basis for her company knightworks dance theater.
DEC 8 at 5PM
This intermedial performance piece is designed for installation of 6-8 rooms with variously positioned speakers and screens presenting an experimental interplay of voice(s), acoustic biospheres, poesis, musical composition, film and television soundtracks, graphic design and notation, sonographic spectra, sculpture and physical objects. The physical installation version of the piece will be recrafted for CEE online experience as a fifty-minute film in the form of an “exhibit walk-through tour,” with discussion to follow.
Is it possible to publicly narrate the past, and document the present, in ways that move beyond permanence and monumentalization? What would it mean to think in terms of materiality not in relation to landscape but instead in terms of embodiment?
Participants Ken Lum, Deborah Anzinger, and Gabrielle Goliath addressed these questions and others in conversation with participants. Gabrielle Goliath drew from her work "Elegy 7" which can be viewed here.
As always, Third Thursdays are free and open to the public
Gabrielle Goliath situates her practice within contexts marked by the traces, disparities and as of yet unreconciled traumas of colonialism and apartheid, as well as socially entrenched structures of patriarchal power and rape-culture. Enabling opportunities for affective, relational encounters, she seeks to resist the violence through which black, brown, feminine, queer and vulnerable bodies are routinely fixed through forms of representation. Goliath has exhibited widely, most recently in Our Red Sky, Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg. Her solo exhibition, This song is for... is currently installed at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, and will open later this year at Konsthall C, Stockholm. She will also present a new work in December 2020 by commission of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Goliath has won a number of awards including a Future Generation Art Prize/Special Prize (2019), the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award (2019), as well as the Institut Français, Afrique en Créations Prize at the Bamako Biennale (2017). Her work features in numerous public and private collections, including the TATE Modern, Iziko South African National Gallery, Johannesburg Art Gallery, and Wits Art Museum. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate with the Institute for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Deborah Anzinger is an artist and founder of New Local Space (NLS), Kingston, Jamaica. Anzinger’s work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) and has been exhibited at Pérez Art Museum Miami; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, Brooklyn; National Art Gallery of the Bahamas; and National Gallery of Jamaica. Her work is published in Small Axe Journal (Duke University Press), Caribbean Quarterly (Taylor & Francis), Bomb Magazine, Art Papers, The New Yorker and Artforum. Anzinger was recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a fellowship to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She is a 2020 Soros Arts Fellow. As part of the Soros Arts Fellowship, Anzinger is creating archival arboreal sculptures called Training Stations in Maroon Town located in Jamaica’s Cockpit Country, an historical site of refuge from the Transatlantic slave trade for Maroons, and a major source of freshwater and biodiversity in the country. The title of the project references the Ground Truthing process used by the government to redefine the boundaries for mining operations and encroachment into The Cockpit Country Protected Area. Training Stations however proposes an alternative set of parameters to redefine the identity of this space based on the interconnectedness of land, ecologies, histories and lived realities.
The artists residency is a collaboration between VCAM and Ethnocine Collective, a group of visual anthropologists and filmmakers who push the boundaries of documentary storytelling through decolonial and intersectional feminist practice. The residency aims to strengthen the burgeoning field of feminist ethnographic filmmaking by supporting two underrepresented artists to claim the time, space, and a critically engaged community to move the needle forward on works-in-progress.
Organized by Ethnocine Collective & Haverford's VCAM, Co-sponsored by the Center for Experimental Ethnography and the Brown Girls Doc Mafia.
Free and open to the public
PENN MUSEUM 336