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REIMAGINING TRADITION: ritual cools the head
October 8 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm| Free
Nia I’man Smith presents ritual cools the head, an interactive project. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.
Emerging from Smith’s own engagement with ritual as an Orisa devotee within the Isese tradition as practiced throughout Yorubaland in Nigeria, her project aims to challenge the idea that ritual only functions within the realm of religious/spiritual practice. Rather, this project will assert an alternative theory—that rituals inherently exist within the tasks, routines, and practices of everyday life, and can occur as forms of self-care. Direct and casual at its core, participants will be invited to fill out and submit a biographical info sheet in which they are asked to describe a personal ritual; in exchange, they will be given the biographical info sheet of a stranger to take home and contemplate. This is part of an ongoing project by Smith, in which every ritual info sheet will be photographed, catalogued, and eventually made available in a collection of thematic chapbooks.
Nia I’man Smith is the founder of THE BLACK CONNECTION, a blog and apparel brand dedicated to the celebration of Blackness as expressed through music, literature, and spiritual traditions. Nia I’man Smith’s work as THE BLACK CONNECTION can be found on tumblr and etsy under THE BLACK CONNECTION moniker. Her creative writing can also be found in the anthology, “Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown,” published though Whirlwind Press and the webjournal, The Liberator. She is currently a Museum Educator at the Studio Museum in Harlem and works as a Program Manager at ArtsConnection, aiding in providing innovative arts programming to millions of students in the New York City public school system.
This event is presented in conjunction with Reimagining Tradition, a program developed by Open Source Gallery to highlight intersections between socially engaged art and ritual practice through a series of site-specific projects by New York City-based artists. Pieces in Reimagining Tradition defy the constraints of traditional gallery exhibitions and blur modern distinctions between art and the sacred. Artists in the program include: Leigh Davis, Erin Ellen Kelly, James Leonard, Jasmine Murrell, Nia I’man Smith, Ultracultural Others