Suitcase Under The Bed: Ephemera Gathering Public Workshop with Ajamu
The Center, NYC
"Suitcase Under The Bed: Ephemera Gathering Public Workshop," which took place on March 28th, 2016 at LGBT Center, was the closing event of Ajamu's Visual AIDS / Residency Unlimited Curatorial Residency. This community-based discussion encouraged artists, archivists, activists and creatives to delve into their personal archives and share the intimate materials they keep close. What items do you have, tucked under your bed or on display on your bulletin board, that mean something to you as you make a difference? All were welcome to attend and encouraged to bring an item of ephemera from their personal archive that inspires their creativity and activism to share and discuss.
For his "Archiving Activists Portrait Project," Ajamu photographed 15 young activists of color and interviewed them about their art, activism and objects important to their work. Ajamu premiered these portraits and interviews during "Suitcase Under The Bed: Ephemera Gathering Public Workshop." The event also engaged participants in the Visual AIDS Artist+ Registry content that Ajamu researched throughout his month-long residency in New York City, particularly highlighting the experiences and ephemera of queer trans intersex people of color artists and activists.
Launched in 2012, Visual AIDS and Residency Unlimited (RU) join efforts to host a one-month residency program for a curator, art historian, or arts writer interested in the intersection of visual art and HIV/AIDS. The curatorial residency encourages the development of exhibitions, programs, and scholarship about HIV/AIDS and contemporary art. The resident curator conducts research in Visual AIDS' archives with access to slides, digital images, publication and other resources. The archives hold over 17,000 digital and slide images by 643 artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have passed away.
The “Suitcase Under The Bed” Ephemera Gathering Workshop was co-presented in collaboration with Residency Unlimited and The LGBT Community Center.
Ajamu is from London and is one of the leading historians concerning Black LGBT history in the UK. He has worked with a cross section of community organizations within the HIV/AIDS sector in the role of Black Gay Men’s Outreach worker, trainer and workshop designer for Gay Men Fighting Aids (GMFA), freelance consultant, photographic tutor and freelance photographer—creating images for safer sex campaigns, flyers and posters in relation to activism and social justice. Ajamu is also the co-founder, along with Topher Campbell ( Theatre Director and Film Maker), of the rukus Federation, an organization dedicated to show casing the best in challenging and provocative works by Black queer artist, activists and cultural producers and the rukus! Black LGBT Archive.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 from 6:30pm