SHANI JAMILA
June 27, 2015

Altar

Cultural artist and human rights advocate Shani Jamila builds her session, ‘Altar’ around a hope to process state violence against black women and girls. Led by Jamila, session participants move as a group through the house, writing in response to prompts on the walls of each room. Dancers open the session, accompanied by an evocative soundscape and parlor installation that evokes problematic broken windows policing.

Shani Jamila is an artist, cultural worker and staunch human rights advocate. Her career and studies have taken her to thirty five countries over five continents, a journey that is reflected in her artistic production, community work and media commentary.

Throughout her travels, Shani has spoken about African American culture and history at global gatherings like the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Switzerland, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development in Turkey and the World Social Forum in India. Her international experiences and cosmopolitan perspective deeply inform her work as a collagist, fiber artist and creative writer. She has exhibited or performed at institutions including the Phillips Gallery, Rush Arts’ Corridor Gallery, Le Poisson Rouge, Busboys & Poets, Ohio University, Bohemian Caverns and the City College of New York. Additionally, Shani is one of the Bearden 100. Her work has been published in Race, Class and Gender; Black Renaissance Noire; Sometimes Rhythm, Sometimes Blues; Colonize This!; Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip Hop Culture; Of Note magazine; Global Connections to a Cultural Democracy and The Encyclopedia of Sociology.