SPIRITUAL IS POLITICAL PRESENTS
WELCOME TO BLACK SHEDDING(S)
In 2020, there was a window for transformation due to a global virus. For many of us, we knew that our bodies, lives, and realities in this world had an environmental impact and our embodied experiences are intrinsically linked to systemic racial and economic injustice. This was not a cleanse, this was a call for transformation. In order to transform, a portal for the shedding process appeared. Some of us went through the portal and some of us did not know it existed.
Black Shedding(s) showcases the process and experiences when in search of creating new worlds. It is a look at what exists inside the portal of transformation. This exhibit tells a story through visual art, sound production, literary reflections, and educational resources. It reflects the collaboration of artists' work alongside individual pieces to tell a collective story.
Black Shedding(s) can be discussed through the works of: shedding light on/in, rebirth, infusion, transmutation, the science of chrysalis, to shed free from..., and snake medicine used in various different ways within various different spiritual traditions. It can be discussed amongst those of us who know that [antiracist anticapitalist anticolonial black queer trans feminist] communal practice takes a communal shedding.
A shedding is different from a cleanse, a shedding is a transformation.
PHASE 1: THE INTENTION
REFLECTIONS FROM THE CURATOR
Cheyenne Wyzzard-Jones recorded their reflection about what Black Shedding(s) means for them. This reflection specifically answers the questions:
what are we becoming? what can no longer exist?
We are asking you, just like we asked our artists: when conjuring a new world what was/is your everyday mundane life? What do you hope for your everyday life to be in this new world? What are your stages of shedding? How does the land you reside on respond? Who are you becoming? And what can no longer exist?
THE SOUNDS OF SHEDDING
Sound healing is one of the oldest tools for transformation we have. Black people have used sound to find safety, to remember, and to move toward the liberatory futures Black people inherently require. This playlist was curated by Nicky Smith aka Kid Nick. There are elements of call and response, melodic sounds, memory of Black liberation, and honesty in the shedding process.
We ask that you listen to this playlist with discernment. One song, four ethers by serpentwithfeet, explicitly names the feeling of loving a Black Queer person during moments of suicide ideations.
PHASE 2: THE IMAGINATION
The imagination is a necessary tool to envision what can exist after the shed. Black people have used the imagination to dream up possibilities that have seemed impossible to be embodied, turning liberatory dreams into reality. Spiritual is Political turned to visual artists to bear witness to Black Imagination. The work you will see honors a visual representation of transformation: grieving, manifesting, resting, honoring, releasing, and creating something/somewhere new.
STORYTELLING: BLACK SHEDDING(S) GALLERY
This exhibit showcases eleven artists whose work respond to the curatorial statement.
Artists: Gouled Ahmed, Nikesha Breeze, Mithsuca Berry, Tasha Dougé, Penny Gamble-Williams, Kaya Joan, Zahyr Lauren, Chelsey Luster, Kavonna Smith, Mikailah Thompson, and Jaleeca Yancy
Directions: Click on each work to view the description and work in full.
We strongly recommend viewing this gallery on a desktop.
PHASE 3: THE GATHERING
Black people are communal. Liberation is a communal act. Shedding for a liberatory future requires to gather in community.
Below you will find resources and conversations that help contextualization the transformation. We hope that you use this section to bring deeper understanding into the world you imagine for yourself.
This newsletter aims to capture the countless moments and phenomena that mark the process of transformation. The experience of liminal spaces, liminal identities, the act of becoming. The art of change. Existence as art. Embracing vulnerability. As you read on, think about your own processes of becoming and unbecoming.
PHASE 4: THE OFFERING
What, who, and where do you pour back into? What are you nourishing to grow? The end of a transformation is the recognition that you did not do this alone. The end of this exhibit calls for you to provide a direct offering to the source that sustained your shedding.
The below ceremonial drawing on canvas was the offering Spiritual is Political contributed to our internal community when we released the beginning of Black Shedding(s) in August 2022 on Noepe Land, also known as Martha's Vineyard.
Artist: Sienna Kwami