06 October 2011

Harlem reciclaGEM: The Apollo + Troy

Ok, so while I'm *supposed* to be artistically M.I.A., as I prepare for this big surprise I have for you all in December, I missed you all too much/too much is going on in the world for me not to blog/let me you know what I HAVE been doing.

So firstly, catch up time,

On Wednesday September 21st, South Carolina born, New York bred singer and model (and dear friend!) Helese Smauldon performed at the iconic Apollo Stage. And let's not forget, in my dress, which was made with locally sourced golden lace and refurbished dutch wax print from my childhood. You may have seen the dress from my VIHDA Means Life production:

And now see it on Helese here:

(The artist and I, dressed in a 1980s wool vintage dress)

(The Artist: Take note of the refurbished clasp back and the removable gold chain "backlaces (i.e. necklaces for your back) that I added to custom fit the dress to Ms. Chiamaka's needs :). #ReduceReuseRecycle!)

Please be sure to support local musicians, such as Helese, aka Itheopiah-Chiamaka (where she's rocking none other than one of my Vegan Gems and one of my photos! :)

That night was filled with so many dichotomies: one being the landscape of American music and the insatiability of the Apollo crowd, and the second being the social interactions that take place beyond the velvet ropes into the streets.

While one half of Harlem lined the blood red stanchions of the Apollo's Box Office, home of the Black Renaissance, the other side of the concrete experienced an intermittent but unforgettable march to petition to save a black man's life. A railroad technician from the state Georgia spent the past 20 years in prison because he was *accused* of killing a police officer- accused nonetheless without murder weapon found or consistent witness testimonies maintained (many revoked), leading to his accusation date, over the course of four years being postponed three times for further investigation.

Nonetheless, on September 21st at 7am, the state of George made their last and final denial of clemency, and Troy Davis, at 10:53pm, the eve of a night that was to be filled with joy, was executed.

That brings me to this question.

As Americans of ALL colors, ethnicities and origins, of this hemisphere and beyond, how can we use our bodies, our minds, and our talents to prevent such human violations from happening? How can we continue to remember the martyrs of our lands, and not blog-tweet their life in vain? How can we not hate our citizenship, or lack there of, and become active agents in the healing of our national wounds?

This is an open dialogue. I will take these questions to my croquis book and my mind. In the meantime, please email me, or post below, so we can build a new world together.

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