ANA-MAURINE LARA & LATASHA DIGGS
June 10, 2017
Governor’s Island was Lenape land, settled by the Dutch in exchange for “two ax heads, a string of beads and a handful of nails” in 1637, was also the home to multiple generations of military families and those who worked for them. Today, the mansions on Governor’s Island are emptied, cared for by the Parks administration and groundskeepers. In this writing/performance, we invite folks to meditate on the known and unknown histories of the house and the land itself, to engage with feeling the space, listening to and observing it. Alternating between cleansing and writing, audiences are invited to reflect upon and respond to who was here before us, who is here with us in the now, who will be here after us.
Photography by Dan Arnes
Interdisciplinary poet and sound artist LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs was born and raised in Harlem. She studied at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and earned an MA at New York University and an MFA at California College of the Arts. Her work is truly hybrid: languages and modes are grafted together and furl out insistently from each bound splice. Diggs is the author of the poetry collection TwERK (2013) and several chapbooks, as well as the album Television (2003). She has been a poetry editor for the online arts journal exittheapple and, with writer Greg Tate, is a founding editor of YoYo/SO4 magazine. Diggs’s interdisciplinary work has been featured in exhibits at several New York museums, including the Whitney and the Museum of Modern Art. Her additional honors include scholarships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Cave Canem, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Harlem Community Arts Fund, the Jerome Foundation, the Eben Demarest Trust, Caldera Arts, Black Earth Institute, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Foundation. She lives in New York City.
Ana-Maurine Lara is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. Her areas of interest include Afro Latino/a identities, black queer aesthetics, Vudú in the Dominican Republic, and Afro-Dominicanidad and the struggle against xenophobia in the Dominican Republic.