Curated by Gabrielle Civil, Black Motion Pictures is a series of Zoom interviews with radical Black creatives about race, performance, and representation conducted between June 2–14, 2020. Spanning a broad range of topics—Black punk music, heritage sites, re-enactments, queer ancestors—the series continues with Ayana Omilade Flewellen. Who are you today and what do you do? Can you think of a performance—Black or otherwise—whatever that means—that has meant a lot to you? How is Black performance marked or archived? How does Black performance relate to time (to historicity or ephemerality)? What is a Black performance still? How does Black performance matter? What is a Black motion picture?
Ayana Omilade Flewellen (she/her) is a Black feminist, an archaeologist, a storyteller, and an artist. She is the co-founder of the Society of Black Archaeologists and sits on the Board of Diving With A Purpose. Dr. Flewellen is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. Her research and teaching interests are shaped by and speak to Black feminist theory, historical archaeology, maritime heritage conservation, public and community-engaged archaeology, processes of identity formations, and representations of slavery. Her current book project, tentatively titled A Black Feminist Archaeology of Adornment, examines sartorial practices of self-making among African American tenant, sharecropping, and landowning farmers in post-emancipated Texas. Sartorial practices, in this forthcoming work, are defined as social-cultural practices, shaped by many intersecting operations of power and oppression including racism, sexism, and classism, that involve modifications of the corporal form (e.g., scarification, body piercings, and hair alteration), and all three-dimensional supplements added to the body (e.g., clothing, hair combs, jewelry). She currently is the Co-PI of the Estate Little Princess Archaeology Project, an award-winning collaborative community engaged archaeological project based on the island of St. Croix, USVI.
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