From Lagos and Austin, Los Angeles, Louisville, Minneapolis, Chicago, Brooklyn, Seoul, Pétionville, the Arkansas Delta, Horseshoe Mountain, Busan, Detroit, New York City, Kentifrica, Puerto Rico, Beirut, Mexico City, Banjul, The Gambia and Yellow Springs, OH, we arrived to participate in Call & Response, an innovative dynamic of black women and performance at Antioch College. We are a diverse group of seven black women artists with different relationships to the words “black,” “women” and “performance.” For five days, we shared stories and forged a process. We debated privilege, agency and forgiveness. We worked, played, laughed, sang, presented work and considered what we are all called to do.
What is the urgency of our invention?
How can we engage in collective imagining?
How does our work change when we create from a place of freedom?
What is irresistible to us?
Are you available to yourself and to your calling?
How can we negotiate invisibility and hyper-visibility in productive ways?
How do we undefine the defined?
How can we sharpen our awareness of energy and rhythm in the body?
How can we make art that manifests change for a more socially just world?
How can we move through or without fear?
How can we sustainably care for and be accountable to ourselves and one another?
How can we achieve radical openness?
How can we claim joy?
In response, we call you to conduct experiments in joy
This call invites you to play, explore, investigate and create: performance, poems, drawings, desserts, long walks, spirited discussions, textiles, hairstyles, dance, research—make it funky—cooking, music, maps, apps, structures, sounds, movements, games, artifacts, political actions, adornment, manifestations, encounters, new intentions, letters, photographs, or anything else—surprise yourself! Here's how to do it:
1. Tell the truth
2. Make something new
3. Invite someone in
This process can be collective or individual, a single event or daily practice. Reasons to respond include:
to participate in an artistic community; to connect to the enduring legacy of black women artists; to experiment;
to play; to find new sources of joy; to confront obstacles to your joy; to learn how to inhabit joy while embattled; to make new work; to transform the work you’re already doing; to interact in new ways; to heal. We don’t have all the answers and we don’t always agree on the answers we have. We do know the conversation is urgent. Join us. Respond to the Call.
Gabrielle Civil, Duriel E. Harris, Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle, Rosamond S. King,
Wura-Natsha Ogunji, Miré Regulus, Awilda Rodríguez Lora
For more information, go to the Antioch College website: www.antiochcollege.org