An exhibition and performance by Nubia Yasin
Featuring Madaame Frankie
Curated by Lawrence Matthews
Exhibition opens at 7 pm | performance at 8 pm
I’m a host of things, but most inescapably, I’m a black woman. Born of two black parents, in a country like this one.
The journey it takes to go from black girl to black woman is unlike any other coming of age story; it’s one that is more deeply rooted in trauma then I would like to admit. Before even realizing this fact, I was writing about it. Writing poem after poem about girls learning silence from their mothers, who learned it from their mothers. Generation after generation of women who grow smaller and smaller in the face of their demons. I wanted to make a body of work that gave these women (and myself) room to stretch, to talk, to release. Little Women is meant to “open the blinds” so to speak.
Featuring the old family photos is meant to contrast the outward appearance of growing up, which is fairly innocent, with the reality of trauma. It’s set in a living room because, often times, that’s where the breaking of our women happens: in our own homes. Due to a constant cycle of shame and secrecy, it’s an unfortunate truth that what happens in our homes stays in our homes for the most part.
Every story in Little Women is a story about a girl who looks like me, who is me. This isn’t just my story … it’s our story.
My work, whether it be poetry, film, or photography, is meant to give an honest and uncompromising glimpse into what it is to be black in America: the tragedy of it, the triumph of it, the nuance and layers. I think that too often, black bodies are used to fill space, to meet a quota, to make a point. To write about two black people falling in love is immediately seen as radical or political, never mind the fact that black people fall in love every day, void of commentary. Every day, black folk live their lives, laugh, cry, fight, and eat meals with one other without referencing the grand trauma of being Black in America, without referencing the White Man.
Though I see the point in creating political work (and do so often), I feel it’s just as important to create work that simply speaks to the black existence without referencing whiteness at all. What I want to expose is the sociology of blackness, the parts of us that make us beautifully, agonizingly, terrifyingly, and gloriously human.