Joy's MA at Dutch Arts Institute
Joy Mariama Smith is a beautiful friend and visionary artist whose work primarily addresses the conundrum of projected identities. They are currently enrolled in the MA Art Praxis Program at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI) in Holland. Due to unforseen financial changes, they need financial support for tuition, work/studio space, and living expenses to complete the program that they started last year. With your support, Joy will graduate in July 2017.
I have been honored to assemble this campaign in collaboration with Joy. I belive that they are doing the kind of work the world needs right now to open our hearts and dissolve xenophobia and her sister ills. We have organized it so that all the gifts you give will flow directly to their bank account, except for the percentage extracted by this GoFundMe platform.
We hope this platform will be a convenient way to give support to Joy. If you would like to give but don't have a credit or debit card, please contact them directly. If you don't have their info, use the little envelope icon on this page to message me and I will put you in touch.
In their studies at DAI Joy is combining their professional experience and training working in the field of architecture with their committed and adventurous art practice. Joy's thesis is to examine the use of space by artists of color in performance installation works. Their guiding question is: What links are there between an artist's experience of oppression or marginalization and that artist's use of space? Joy is researching and referencing relevant contemporary cultural theories and the lives and works of artists of color who make embodied, performative art.
Joy's research is vitally important in today's cultural climate. Power dynamics are shifting everywhere and while there is a lot of scary conservative populism and assimilationist rhetoric, this is also a moment when there are also thoughtful, encouraging, and celebratory approaches to life modelled by individuals such as Joy who transcend the humans screaming across fences at each other. I have experienced Joy as the kind of artist and person who is driven to invent new kinds of spaces and situations that are liberating in their ambiguity and inspiring in their openness.
The MA Art Praxis program that Joy is enrolled in is perfect for them. It is a unique, small-scale program with a highly experimental and agile profile. It is a think tank/networking platform/theory camp/temporary art commune to which the students contribute to everyone's overall learning. Because this program is low-residency, it does not provide studio space, so Joy is looking into getting affordable workspace at CLOUD Danslab . That is one of the expenses, along with books and tuition and some living costs, that we hope you can help with.
At DAI, Joy, with their characteristic attention to the importance of cultivating loving care as a value, is currently contributing to a new handbook for students and staff that outlines codes of conduct for communal learning and communal care.
With MFA in hand, Joy's future plans include facilitating performances and workshops for healing from oppression, creating more platforms for artist of color working in the EU context, and more training in meditation and nonviolent communication. They are on the 2017-2018 board of curators for Ponderosa , a performing arts lab on the outskirts of Berlin. Joy plans to teach and perform at the 2017 Lion's Jaw performance + dance festival in Boston. They also plan to re-boot/revive/revision the COLLAGE festival (originally located in Philadelphia) to include a broader international vision.
Joy also plans to continue developing ColorBlock. which they first co-facilitated for a week in August 2016 at Ponderosa as a retreat for artists of color. ColorBlock is a space held by and created for people of color to work/play/experiment around movement, improvisation and activism; and to explore questions such as: How do we as movement practitioners train and strengthen the mind and body for healing in resistance to oppressive structures and systems? How do we as movement practitioners train and strengthen the mind and body for healing in resistance to oppressive structures and systems? How does self care and personal meditation support and prepare us for site based radical performance making? How can we strengthen and support each other in our communities through a more engaged practice?
Joy is doing important work and engaging a kind of awareness that the world needs now. I know I have benefitted from their curiousity, creativity, and wisdom. Eventually they plan to enter a PhD program. Please join in supporting this human being and artist.
This year’s Contour looked particularly at questions of “justice,” which gave Joy lots of food for thought as they works towards their thesis presentation about people of color and use of space. Joy also started work on a new piece called “the dutchman” which they will show as part of their final presentation at DAI.
At Contour, Joy searched out the works by women and POCs, and was particularly interested in a keynote speech by Professor Denise Ferreira da Silva, whose research is on race, global space, and modern thought - (look up her book "Toward a Global Idea of Race").
At Contour Joy also had the brilliant opportunity to meet the filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzin Sonam, who live in India and make films on Tibetan themes. They spoke face-to-face about long-term collaborative practices, Joy shared about the workshops they teach on this topic, Couples Therapy.
There is so much more that Joy related to me about their experiences at Contour, here is an excerpt from their email:
"... I was moved by the work of Council, Rosella Biscotti, Ritu Sarin &Tenzing Sonam, Beatriz Santiago Munoz and Ho Tzu Nyen. ...I [also] enjoyed the work of Judy Radul (in another context because I had just seen her work and acted as a docent at the Witte de With Museum http://www.wdw.nl/en/our_program/exhibitions/judy_radul_the_king_the_door_the_thief_the_window_the_stranger_the_camera ) who was playing withsurveillance, agency and the courtroom or law...
...really enjoyed the little treasure in location 4 by Susanne M. Winterling. It made me think about magic and history and science—or really it made me think about the moment in time when history changes magic into science. The space was cool and comforting and the voice of the man in the film was soothing and made me remember my Jamaican ancestors."
Needless to say Joy is inspired and juiced to continue their extraordinary studies that are on the forefront of practice around arts, culture, and identity. IMHO Joy is the kind of thinker and doer that is needed in this day and age! We still haven’t reached our benchmark for fundraising, so remember, if you gave once, you can give again! If you are a person who gets a tax refund around this time of year, consider donating a small amount to support Joy’s education. Share this site with your friends! It’s Springtime!
With lots of gratitude,
1. BODY WEATHER-Ponderosa edition MARCH 20th-24th 2017 Taught by Frank van de Ven (of BW Amsterdam) register now! (early registration ends march 5th) Body Weather is a comprehensive approach to training and performance that investigates the intersections of bodies and their environments....read more at http://www.ponderosa-dance.de/2017workshops.html
2. THE TRIPLE D Dreaming/Decentralizing/Decolonizing JULY 10th-14th 2017 Taught by Sonya Lindfors (of UrbanApa Helsinki) We will be exploring the three Ds through discussion and reading, different physical, mental and spiritual practices, ancestral energies and exercises that shake both the body and the mind.... read more at http://www.ponderosa-dance.de/2017workshops.html
3. COLOR BLOCK 2017! AUGUST 19th-27th 2017 Facilitated by JOY MARIAMA SMITH and Laia R.C. A space held by and created for people of color to work/play/experiment around movement, improvisation and activism. Read more at http://www.ponderosa-dance.de/2017workshops.html
If you want to help Joy continue to curate great programming for movement artists, invite your friends to donate to gofundme.com/joymariamasmith to help them complete school.