i-shapebeauty:

Using film, visual art, dance and poetry, A Different Mirror provides a platform for Women of Colour artists to explore the conflicts about how we see ourselves versus how we are seen.

The 3 day exhibition and educational activities confront these crucial questions about the systems or structures that shape our relationship to our bodies and its connection to our identities. It holds up a mirror to see and know ourselves differently.

Exhibition Public Opening Times:

Saturday 26th April 2014 10 am – 5pm

Sunday 27th April 2014 12 pm – 5pm

 Featuring works by: Indigo WilliamsLesley AsareSanaa HamidNasreen RajaSarina Leah MantleWasma MansourUchenna Dance, Patricia Kaersenhout, and Ng’endo MukiiAowen JinJanine ‘j*9′ FrancoisClare Eluka, and Emerzy Corbin.

Reflections: Art as a Tool for Healing

Saturday 26th of April 2014

6:30pm – 8:30pm £7.50 (early bird £6.50)

This artist seminar explores the ways in which art can be used to heal and empower ourselves and others. It offers insight into different artistic mediums and how these artists have used their practices for reclamation and transformation.

Featuring a performance by writer Yrsa Daley-Ward, talks by Indigo Williams (poet) and Lesley Asare (visual and performance artist) of I Shape Beauty, and a panel discussion featuring Sharmila ChauhanAowen JinVicki Igbokwe (Uchenna Dance) and Bola Agbaje.

Book your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reflections-art-as-a-tool-for-healing-tickets-11083233249?ref=ebtnebtckt 

Photos by Rowena Gordon Photography

Sometimes in black communities we forget that black girls are girls, not little women. My friend then shared with me her own story of being sexually abused and ending up pregnant and in need of an abortion at age 12 because her family members irresponsibly left her with a male family friend. The first time a 12-year-old black girl ever told me she had been raped, I, too, was 12 and she was a friend. The second time, I was a 22-year-old teacher, and the 12-year-old was my student.

I realize now, having heard a version of this story, yet again, that as gut-wrenching as these stories are, among black girls they are not uncommon; they are not even remarkable. So many of the highly educated black women you see went to hell and back before reaching the age of 18. Education has become our drug of choice.

[…]For black girls, educational achievement is not always the best indicator of a stable, happy home life. For me, education offered a goal and reward structure that was predictable and that I could control, simply by doing what was asked of me. In the midst of so many things I could not control, school was attractive. I imagine that for many black girls the narrative is similar.