A New Performance Residency about Slavery, Justice and Freedom

2019 Black Spatial Relics: New Performance Residency Artists-in-Residence

The 2019 Black Spatial Relics (BSR) New Performance Residency supported the development of two new performance works that address and incorporate the public history of slavery and contemporary issues of justice. The 2019 Black Spatial Relics artists-in-residence are Julie B. Johnson and muthi reed.


Julie B Johnson will use her award to support her project “Idle Crimes and Heavy Work.” “Idle Crimes and Heavy Work” is developed in conjunction with her participation as a co- director of The Georgia Incarceration Performance Project — a devised archives-to- performance collaboration exploring the history of incarceration and convict labor in Georgia. “Idle Crimes and Heavy Work,” is a choreographic exploration of the often overlooked experiences of black women within this history, embodying narratives of gendered and racial violence, and amplifying modes of resistance and restoration.

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muthi reed will use their award to support their work HOUSE OF BLACK INFINITY // WILDIN. Working between Philadelphia and York, Alabama, muthi’s work is in partnership with Coleman Center for the Arts. HOUSE OF BLACK INFINITY // WILDIN is a community vision for intercultural trans regional society, gathering and contemplating topographic visions for twenty first century living. Organizing the Council, muthi will conduct archival research about local Black and Native life. From research, they are making work to share in community— part holler, porch sit, walk, ritual, libations, roll call, story performance, sing, prayer, drill. WILDIN is a conceptual audio and video performance work.

Download the full Press Release PDF.


Crystal Z. Campbell |

SLICK: A Person Who Advises or Shows the Way to Others is a feature-length experimental documentary video, series of live performances, and a publication centering Oklahoma and its history of black townships, oil, and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.offering players the opportunity to compete against the clock to solve puzzles using clues, hints, and strategy.

Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow |

Junkanooaacome” is a site-specific,interdisciplinary, and interactive project consisting of workshops, performances, and other media intended to decolonize and raise awareness of NYC’s historic spaces and monuments still bearing names of slave masters. Lyn-Kee-Chow aims to celebrate decolonization by making this Jamaican Junkanoo (a practice intended to confront slave-masters) relevant during other times of the year and not only during Christmas time as it’s traditionally practiced.

Viktor L Ewing-Givens |

Mo’lasses This touring project iterates as visual exhibitions, lectures, public performance rituals, sound compositions, video installations and creativenon-fiction publications.

Monèt Noelle Marshall |

Bring Me My Purse Did you know that the average net worth of a Black woman in America is $0 if she is college educated; $1100 if she is not. How did we get here? How did enslaved Black women create wealth through their physical and reproductive labor to now passing debt down through generations? How do Black women continue to be the societal “breadlosers” while feeding everyone else? How much do we owe Black women? When will we pay up?

This project will feature interviews, photography, and videography that will culminate in an installation that will house visual art, audio, performances, workshops and digital interventions.

Marisa Williamson | Rooms |

Rooms is an interactive multimedia installation, performance, and speculative retelling of historical narratives inspired by the lives of three women, enslaved in colonial America. The project, developed by Marisa Williamson during her residency at SPACES in Cleveland, OH, is a variation on the pop culture “escape room” phenomenon offering players the opportunity to compete against the clock to solve puzzles using clues, hints, and strategy.

The artists-in-residence pay particular attention to land-based histories of both the slave trade and its legacies on the Eastern seaboard of the United States as well as histories of chattel slavery, fugitivity, and liberation. Black Spatial Relics artists lead performance projects that may traverse or engage dance, theatre, performance installation and/or ritual, spoken word, music/sound, visual arts and or any multidisciplinary constellation of the aforementioned.

In addition to development of their performance works between June 2019-November 2019, artists in residence convene in Philadelphia in mid-November 2019 for three days of workshops, convenings and artist talks. Artists are not expected to complete their performance works in this time frame, but some (however experimental) iteration of the performance work will be publicly shared between May – November 2019.

Black Spatial Relics was juried by a national panel of artists, activists and scholars including, Nicosia Shakes, Angela Davis Johnson, Carlos Sirah and Lela Aisha Jones. Black Spatial Relics is an independent project developed at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University. BSR was founded is directed by Arielle Julia Brown. BSR is currently supported by individual donors and the 2019 Monument Lab Fellowship.