The Junior Scholars met two of the four collaborators and co-founders of BUFU (By Us For Us), a collaborative living archive centered around (Pan)Black and (Pan)Asian cultural and political relationships. Currently in residence at Eyebeam, “BUFU is working on a platform which will live both online and in physical installations to create interactive engagement with the stories they have collected…working from interview conducted in Ethiopia, Japan, Korea, Jamaica, China, India, Ghana and the US.”
They shared with the Juniors how they travel around the globe and record/document people’s stories to create small clips of everyday lifestyle from a different perspective. Then with the short films they make they create installations so others can engage with the artwork. BUFU got to travel by using help from their schools, fundraising, artworks they’ve done and even from close family members. They mentioned how they had to scam their way through some situations sometimes because money is just something that is super difficult to get. Youth Advocates, Elizabeth and Sophia, stepped up and said that it is not a bad thing to work your way to get through life sometimes. It’s all about having connections, moving smart, and putting yourself out there.
The BUFU group discussed how some of them went to Parsons and they were able to get money from the school by showing them their project proposal. They showed the Juniors some of the videos/films that they had made over time. These videos properly displayed how work looks for them on the daily and the other videos were about work they were able to archive while traveling. The Juniors were able to share the way they felt being young artists of color in the program.
The Sophomore Scholars travelled to Okay Space Gallery in Williamsburg to meet Sophia Dawson and experience her current exhibition, Correspondence. They were able to meet the artist and the gallery curator and learn more about the work. The exhibition explores the narratives of over 20 U.S. political prisoners who have been jailed for their activism in the Black Liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Through her signature larger-than-life portraiture, Sophia Dawson seeks to humanize the activists, while calling attention to their continued imprisonment and advocating for their freedom.