Tulika and I met originally some years ago through Extended Practice, and when we saw the call, the theme Call and Response and one of the selected texts being Shantrelle P. Lewis' documentary In Our Mother’s Garden (2021), we were immediately drawn to put together a proposal as a way of creating a guide and framework for our ongoing conversations about our intersected identities of Artists and Mothers.
Our proposal uses the film as well as Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's TED talk, "The Danger of a Single Story" (2014) to explore how we pass on family memories, traditions, and values through both narrative and non-narrative storytelling (food, home, sound, and ecosystems). We believe that the power of the story lies in the hands of the storyteller and are interested in shifting the narrative of these conversations to emphasize that everyone has valuable knowledge to share, especially those outside the dominant culture. We are interested in the role of mothers and their children as a means of intergenerational wisdom-sharing as well as how legacies can be passed on in other places in our communities.
The support includes mentorship from the Threewalls team, wellness support in the form of financial planning, mental health services, digital coaching, and for our “labor, visible and invisible”, we receive generous fellowship fee and health stipend. With the above proposal in mind, we meet regularly with two other pairs of our cohort over a 7-month fellowship program to discuss and develop our respective projects. You can read the full Threewalls announcement here.
It’s difficult to find where to begin on how important this fellowship has been for me already. I am humbled and feel so validated to have been chosen alongside my cohort for this opportunity especially at this particular point on my path. The space that this fellowship has provided for me to ruminate on this work and myself has been amazing. I have been able to prioritize my art-making and my reading practice in a way that I really needed this Fall.
However, what has brought me the most joy and strength has been our time together as Fellows with our Threewalls mentor Jeffreen Hayes. I cannot speak highly enough of my In-Sessions cohort— Peregrine Bermas & Abena Motaboli, and Jessica V. Newman & Rodney Simpson, Jr. They are powerful people and powerful artists and I treasure our time together.
I look forward to developing this Salon and presenting it in a Humboldt Park neighborhood space this Spring. I will share details of this intimate community gathering once we get closer, and if the theme sounds interesting to you, I do hope you will join us!