Spring 2018 Fellows
Fellows: Kanene Ayo Holder & Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow
Project: Junkanooacome at the Crossroads
According to Brooklyn Historical Society there are currently 83 Brooklyn streets named after slavemasters. The project, Junkanooacome at the Crossroads entailed workshops and performances about (un)told New York histories of African-Americans. Topics included:
gentrification and lost traditions of Africans in the Americas. During public workshops we performed ritualistic dances while inviting participants to tell their Brooklyn street addresses and shred clothing that they’ve brought while incorporating our materials to complete their own Junkanoo costumes.
Junkanoo was a pre-abolitionary decolonization satirical ceremony, from 14th century Africa confronting the opulence and cruelty of European occupation. Slaves dressed in ornate costumes subverted oppression through obtuse troupes of their masters. Some costumes included hats grand in scale replicating slavemaster mansions, others entailed animal characters drumming and dancing during Christmas in the Caribbean. The confluence of colonialism and African aesthetics are as relevant then as now during Labor Day Carnival in Brooklyn. Missing however, is Junkanoo’s specific performative treaties on slavery in Afro-Caribbean communities in the US.
Junkanooacome at the Crossroads melded the lived histories from the participants of Brooklyn names with the history of the slaves to build a more informed history of Brooklyn as it becomes a crossroads; a limbo land where truth and white lies create a symbiotic relationship both feeding and festering. We hope to have educated the public on slavery in Brooklyn while having resurrected African Traditions.
Past Relevant work
Kanene Holder (b. Brooklyn) is an award winning educator, activist, satirist and performance artist based in Harlem. Holder works with interactive street theater and performances to encourage discussion about social issues. Her satire Searching for American Justice: The Pursuit of Happiness which highlights the ineffective systems that benefit the 1% and continue to put #profitoverpeople was covered by the New York Times and Village Voice. Holder has performed at various venues including Brooklyn Museum (2011), The New York International Fringe Festival (2005), La Mama ETC (2008), Aaron Davis Hall (2009), Symphony Space (2003), University of Granada in Spain (2009), QMAD Festival (2012), and NYU Low Lives Festival (2012). She recently received a fellowship from Yale’s Thread program for non-fiction storytelling . Holder is also a recipient of grants including from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2006), Franklin Furnace (2007) and NYFA/UAI (2005) and was a finalist for Creative Capital in 2012 to support her artistic practice.
As an educator in global studies, media literacy and social justice at a charter school, Holder devises Common Core standard based interdisciplinary lessons about the ancient origins of Intersections of Injustice (race, class and gender). In addition Holder blogs for the Huffington Post and has contributed political commentary on CNN and BBC, among others. Holder also lectures on race, media
literacy, art history and African Diasporic history at various institutions including Studio Museum of Harlem, Museum of Art and Design, Columbia University and NYU.
Holder received her B.S. in Speech Pathology from Howard University and research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2009 and 2016), The Colin Powell Center for Policy Study (2008) and Bard College (2010). She received her M.S.Ed in Childhood Education from City College. Holder is a recent recipient of a Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship from the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute while becoming the Art Department Chair at Broome Street Academy High School. At BSA she supervises art teachers and oversees internships, a talent show and trips for over 300 underprivileged and LGBTQA youth, emphasizing creativity and critical thinking.
Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow (b. Manchester, Jamaica) holds a BFA with honors in Painting from New World School of the Arts, University of Florida, (1996) and an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College, CUNY (2006). Lyn-Kee- Chow often explores performance and installation art drawing from the nostalgia of her homeland, the commodified imagery of Caribbean primitivism, folklore, fantasy, consumerism, spirituality and nature’s ephemerality.
Exhibitions of note include “Queens International 4”, Queens Museum of Art, NY (2009), “10th Open Performance Art Festival”, Beijing, China (2009), “Guangzhou Live 5”, Guangzhou, China (2014), “Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora”, Royal West Academy of England, Bristol, U.K. (2016), a special project commission at “Jamaica Biennial”, The National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, J.A. (2017), and Live Action 12 Performance Art Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden (2017). Solo exhibitions include Rush Arts Gallery (2008), New York, N.Y. and Boston Children’s Museum (2015), Boston, M.A. Her work has also been exhibited at Exit Art,
New York, N.Y., Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at S.U.N.Y. Old Westbury, N.Y., MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts), Brooklyn, N.Y., Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, N.Y., Lehmann Maupin, New York, N.Y., and Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D.C.
Lyn-Kee- Chow’s work has garnered the following; NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) Fellowship Award in Interdisciplinary Art (2012), Rema Hort Mann ACE (Artist in Community Engagement) Award (2017), Franklin Furnace Fund (2017-18).
Her work has been reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Diplomat, Daily Serving, Hyperallergic, Artinfo, The New York Art World, Super Selected, and Newsday. Lyn-Kee- Chow lectures for School of Visual Arts M.F.A. program and Fine Arts Residency in Contemporary Practices. She also lives and works in Queens, N.Y.