Fri, May 20th, 5:00 PM (EDT).
This event will take place in-person in the Martin E. Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave and is wheelchair accessible.
*To attend this event and enter the CUNY Graduate Center you will need to have a CUNY Access Pass. If you do not already have a CUNY Acess Pass, click here to self-register for your CUNY Access Pass.
The stories that are hidden or embedded within our communities often exist within our moving, breathing, feeling bodies. In this evening of collective storytelling, we ask: How can we make community members, thinkers, artists, and people with bodies more visible? What is the relationship between these communities, acts of making or unmaking knowledge, and trauma? We invite you to an evening of collective storytelling in the form of dialogue, individual share-outs, and collaboration.
This evening will open with a keynote by Kamau Ware, an award-winning visual artist, storyteller, historian, and founder of the Black Gotham Experience. Through his creative interventions, Kamau elevates the impact of the African Diaspora in New York City, revisiting suppressed stories through a practice that invites people to walk, talk, and reimagine the past to expand public consciousness.
Following the keynote, audience members are invited to participate in a collaborative, moderated workshop that invites us all to reflect on the stories we work to unearth within our communities, how they are stored and reflected in our embodied relationship with others and world, and the emotions, movements, and sounds that are attached to them.
This evening is situated in the CUNY Graduate Center, a space that traditionally draws together community leaders, thinkers, and artists striving to unearth, imagine, and make ‘knowledge for the public good’. We will reimagine what healing for our communities can look like, and the role that institutions can and should play to foster it while keeping in mind the harms and inequalities that institutional spaces can create.
This event is part of Mindscapes, an international cultural program organized by the Wellcome Trust that aims to support a transformation in how we understand, address and talk about mental health. The event is organized and moderated by Mindscapes Graduate Research Assistants Dunni Oduyemi, Nawal Muradwij, and Alexandra A. Rego in conjunction with the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Kamau Ware is an award-winning visual artist and storyteller based in New York City. Kamau creates new narratives about the African Diaspora’s history through photography, films, exhibitions and events. In 2010, he founded the Black Gotham Experience (BGX), which utilizes art and walks to illustrate the impact of the African Diaspora in New York City. The Black Gotham Experience has been in residence in the Seaport District of Lower Manhattan since 2017, serving as a gallery, event space, and visitor’s center for walks. Kamau led a successful movement in 2021 to have July 13th officially recognized by the Borough of Manhattan and the 27th District of New York State as “Black Vision Day”. He has also worked with Community Board 2 of Manhattan in 2020 and 2022 to pass resolutions to mark land owned by Black people in the mid 17th century known as Land of the Blacks.
Kamau has become widely sought after for his work as an artist / historian. He has been commissioned to create original works by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Apollo Theater, the Mile Long Opera, the New York City Public Design Commission, and The Shed, and has spoken at the New York Historical Society, the Public Theater, SXSW, Yale University, and the Municipal Archive in Amsterdam. He has developed classes, tours, and workshops for NYU, Columbia University, the New School, and K-12 schools across New York City. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Atlas Obscura, Hyperallergic, Curbed, ABC, and NBC.