Also, below is a letter I wrote to my studio mates at Mount Royal that I am using as momentum, and perhaps a personal manifesto, or my guide for the new year. I had sent this shortly after feeling proud that I had finally installed my work (after much electronic media drama) and we had a great opening as a program. However, on the heels of the Ferguson and Garner verdict, and all the news pouring in about lives of color meaning so little to some people, I felt compelled to write this. I'm so glad for the positive responses my studio mates gave as well as their own compassionate - and the beautiful dialogue that came forth, which I won't include, but it's got some institutional dialogue going as far as how we can bridge the gap as students and as artists preparing to re-enter the world, in a position of privilege in Baltimore - with so much going on in the world, let alone outside our studio. Please read below.
Happy New Year,
Love, Pirate Jenny aka PJ
I'm so proud of us all getting our show up. Go mount royal!
However despite all the festivities and our accomplishments I still am recovering from being sick and feeling a deep dark sadness within myself with whats going on in Baltimore with all the protests, with Ferguson, the non indictment of Eric Garner and other social injustices that are happening right outside (or inside) our studios.
I feel helpless, confused and guilty for worrying about my sound on my installation when right across the street Red Emma's was packed to the brim with a Ferguson teach in because all around us right on North Avenue mainly black people and young black men are getting killed and beaten for being who they are.
How on earth can we as artists/MFA students at MICA and at Mt. Royal - balance crits, lectures, homework, studio time and oh, Finals and Thesis - with taking stock and processing this awful time/police state we live in? I personally can't continue to separate the two any longer. When I get harassed/cased/followed by a cop who initially mistakes me for a young black man who then realises I'm a woman and attending MICA and lets me off the hook - I can't ignore my race-gender-education privilelege dilemma.
I'm definitely open to having more discussions about this, and how MICA can support me and others who feel like this. I have no idea what to do. No one is talking about this in the open. I can talk to graduate studies and others about creating space to talk. I think there needs to dialogue, time and space for healing around this. Personally, I'm kind of a wreck and I can no longer afford to hide in my studio bubble and not acknowledge the national crisis that is happening around me.
I'm open to tips, suggestions and thoughts that can generate discussion and healing space. If anyone has any ideas I'm way open.