United Melanin Society & Decolonize This Place
Bodies of Light: Exit Strategy, 2016
Bodies of Light: Exit Strategy
Jahmal B. Golden
Jordan Weatherston Pitts
We Stole The Show
The Black Bandit
"The Bodies of Light portrait series was initiated in Buffalo, New York as a way to celebrate artists of color and to resist the systematic marginalization that is still prevalent within established creative venues. The first installation of the series was complemented by an all-night gathering and party that served as part general assembly and part collective catharsis. We recognize that there is an equal need for such an event in New York City, where artists face gentrification, appropriation, an ever-present colonial gaze and the stress of creating in a city where community is not easily fostered or protected.
We invite artists and people of color, indigenous people, queer, trans and disabled folk to come rejoice, release, share, discuss survival tactics, and celebrate via the tradition of gathering that has underpinned generations of perseverance throughout continued attempts at our erasure. In the advent of Trump's America, we reject the notion of safe space and put forward the question of "protected" or "sacred" space. This one night event will consist of an exhibition of photographic portraits, as well as performances from select New York City and Buffalo artists, followed by a revelry.
Exhibition from 6pm
Words, performance and party from 7.30pm
We hope you join us in solidarity and communion."
– United Melanin Society & MTL+
This exhibition & performance is part of Decolonize This Place, a three-month project by MTL+ on invitation of Common Practice New York hosted at Artists Space Books & Talks. For the purposes of this project, 55 Walker Street has been converted by MTL+ into an action-oriented community space around the issues of: De-Gentrification, Indigenous Struggle, Black Liberation, Free Palestine and Global Wage Workers. Views and opinions expressed in this project are not necessarily those of Artists Space or members of Common Practice New York.
MTL+ is a collective of artists and organizers comprised of Nitasha Dhillon, Amin Husain, Yates McKee, Andrew Ross, Kyle Goen, Amy Weng, Aiko Maya Roudette, Marz Saffore and Samer Abulaela
United Melanin Society was formed by artists of color to meet the urgent need to build and mobilize community through the arts in Buffalo, New York.