Saturday, November 18, 2017
Bronx Museum of the Arts • 1040 Grand Concourse • Bronx, NYC
Identity is malleable, often shaped by external inputs and media representations that amplify specific agendas. Mosaic Literary Conference: Black Documents will explore historical and contemporary presentations of black identity in literature, education, media, and photography; and how self-affirming imagery and text can counter negative stereotypes. To this end, the conference will also present photography exhibits Jamel Shabazz: Black Documents and Black Documents: Freedom (aka Jamel Shabazz: Black Documents: Freedom). A supplemental lesson plan for middle and high school educators will be designed to focus on the conference and exhibition themes of black identity and the work of Jamel Shabazz.
MLC2017 will feature a mix of panels, workshops, film screenings, and networking that enhance community engagement and broaden access to an array of topics.
MLC2017 will be informed by the spiraling currency of black lives. The goal is to explore complex identity narratives related to race, gender, sexual identity, and media representation by such writers as Rigoberto Gonzalez, James Baldwin, Baratunde Thurston, Audre Lorde, Zadie Smith, Ralph Ellison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Claudia Rankine, MIchele Alexander, Toni Morrison, and Nicole Dennis-Benn, among others. The conference also examines how the literary portrait shapes text, how presenting one’s humanity can be countered with negative imagery, and how literature can be used as a counterbalance to reaffirm positive identity and truthfulness in the wake of visual slander. The conference seeks to provide a place to explore “unforgivable blackness” and how recent social movements, such as BlackLivesMatter, can be used to connect and strengthen all communities. MLC offers a mix of informative programs and creative workshops to engage young minds, strengthen literacy, and develop education strategies. The conference schedule will be posted in August.
In 2017, the conference will be complemented by tandem photography exhibitions, Jamel Shabazz: Black Documents and Black Documents: Freedom. The conference will be informed by the imagery of Jamel Shabazz as an inspirational nexus for presenting panels, workshops, and film focused on black identity and media representation. Photographic works by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Lola Flash, Danny Ramon Peralta, Edwin Torres, and Michael Young will be on view.