NEW DATE TBA: Ashara Ekundayo: AfroPortals Project Space & Archive
Announcement of re-scheduled event coming soon; Programmed by Black Life co-curator Ryanaustin Dennis.
Join us for a special conversation led by interdisciplinary curator and organizer Ashara Ekundayo, along with collaborators from the AfroPortals Project Space & Archive. Stewarded by Artist As First Responder and the Black Cultural Zone CDC in partnership with Shared Studios, AfroPortals is an interactive, immersive creative lab, pop-up exhibition space, and bourgeoning archive rooted in principles of Afrofuturism, Black memory, and abundance. At BAMPFA, Ekundayo will facilitate a responsive inquiry process into the philosophical, spiritual, and structural design of Black public spaces, focusing on Deep East Oakland, where the AfroPortals project lives at Liberation Park. This conversation will explore strategies that center Black life in places where Black people and families are being displaced, attempt to lower the barriers between campus and communities, and, as Ekyundayo explains, “illuminate how radical Black thought, Black genius, Black privacy, and Black art, maintain Black ‘hoods.” Programmed by Black Life co-curator Ryanaustin Dennis.
Ashara Ekundayo is a queer, Black, feminist, interdisciplinary independent curator, visual maker, cultural theologian, arts organizer, and consultant whose creative practice is rooted in joy-informed pedagogies and the study of and creation of Black spaces and archives, site-responsive ceremony, and artist-based strategies such as photography, screen printing, zine design, installation, and altar making that illuminate the specific expertise of Black womxn of the African diaspora.
She is the founder of the philanthropic organization Artist As First Responder, which serves as a platform to support creatives working at the intersection of design, technology, and activism to heal communities and save lives. She is currently the principal at AECreative Consulting Partners, LLC, where she highlights artists and cultural production as essential in equitable design practices, real estate development, and movement building. She is also a cofounder of Black [Space] Residency and director of The Black Curators Lab—studio-based artist residencies celebrating the dynamic imagination of Black creatives.
She has served as a fellow with the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Institute for the Future, and Auburn Seminary, and has sat on several advisory boards and held artist/curatorial residencies at many institutions both in the Bay Area and beyond. She is the curatorial research fellow at Muholi Productions, with South African photographer and activist Sir Zanele Muholi. Ekundayo lives and works between the Bay Area and her hometown of Detroit.