Art and Change Grant
Change Partner: Morenike Olabunmi
Discipline: Media Arts ,Performance
Serena’s project will focus primarily on documenting the experiences of elder relatives and their kin through audio/photo documentation. She will travel from Philadelphia to Loundes County, Alabama, to connect with family members who have experienced life in the country or rural deep south. Family members will have the opportunity to speak first person about their experience of being black in America, growing up on small farms in the country during the 1930s and 1940s, being the children of sharecroppers and first and second descendants of enslaved people, and their relationship to the land to this day. Through this process, Serena will create a series of original writings for performance looking loosely at a people’s relationship with the land, the impact of urbanization on identity, sustainable practice, and living off the land. Their background as an oral history documentarian working in communities as a poet and urban farmer make this project an opportunity to unite practice, awareness, and shared experience. The pieces will be performed both down south and locally in Philadelphia to honor ancestral memory and incite awareness for land based organizing.
Photo credit: Boone Nguyen