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What We Built

20th of February 2020

What We Built

Banneker-Douglas Museum

         So grateful to have been chosen as one of the artists to participate in the Black Vote Mural Project at Banneker Douglass Museum. "What We Built" is an extension of "A Beautiful Lie," in that it plays on the romanticization of slavery and the construction of this nation. While many see an American flag I see the blood, sweat, violence, and sacrifices that were made by African decedents sold into slavery in the US. From the inception of America, there is no doubt of the contribution of African Americans, from economic to cultural contributions the Black voice matters and it can be heard loud and clear through the black votes. 

         Bògòlanfini is a handmade Malian cotton fabric traditionally dyed with fermented mud. It has an important place in traditional Malian culture and has, more recently, become a symbol of Malian cultural identity. Chris Seydou, a Malian fashion designer, is widely credited with bringing African mud cloth into the modern fashion arena. Since the 80s, it has become a symbol of the cultural identity of Mali both at home and abroad, particularly in America. It is known as mud cloth and is seen as representative of African American culture.

         This exhibit explores the intersection of public art, Black voices, and civil rights with sixteen murals that transform the interior galleries of the museum.

         Artists: Steuart Hill Academic Academy Students (Teaching Artist: Crystal Micriotti), Ryan Allen, Bowie State University (Public Arts Class), Nikki Brooks, Jay Coleman, Brandon Donahue, Nessar Jahanbin, Jabari Jefferson, Gina Lewis, Megan Lewis,  Greta Chapin McGill, Future History Now, Latoya D. Peoples, Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell, James Terrell, and Ernest Shaw.

Design: The Artist Oliver James

Photography/Videography: Oliver James



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