Monday, February 25, 2013

Programming and the Future of Black Aesthetics

Student observing panel on shoes and listening to audio commentary at the style, politics & the souls of black folks exhibit
Moving forward, we'll continue organizing projects that showcase or incorporate aspects of black aesthetics. We recognize that exhibits featuring images that highlight the visual features of African American styling, ornamentation, artistic, and verbal practices are especially appealing to students at the university.  Years ago, we began with the production of a series of black studies postcards and then posters that became popular around campus.

We regularly organized exhibits that included more and more posters that  exuded African American cultural signifiers. Our mixed media poetry exhibits, which showcase audio recordings and photographs of black poets as well as our politically inspiring black women exhibits became some of our signature events. We also began hosting an annual style, politics & the souls of black folks project, and our Sistas Rocking Naturals @ SIUE has become one of our most popular events.

The notion of black aesthetics apparently speaks to students and perhaps general citizens on multiple levels. "Style," noted author Ralph Ellison decades ago "is more important than political ideologies." I might not go that far, but what we've discovered is that politics are embedded in style, and style exudes politics and modes of consciousness
Future Histories project 
A Notebook on style

No comments: