NEW YORK — afrOURban today announced, in collaboration with architectural designer Simba Mafundikwa, a new multiyear initiative to connect more deeply with Black communities in New York, using technology to enable storytelling through interviews, videos, photos and more.
The Black Diasporas project documents the experiences of Black New Yorkers and the local spaces and places that have meaning to them, ensuring a diversity of experiences is reflected in our historical record of the city.
On Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 7:30pm EST, afrOURban will host an exclusive discussion with project participants to learn more about their individual stories, why they got involved, and discuss the importance of preserving diverse Black stories. The conversation will be moderated by Mafundikwa and is open to members of the media and public.
To join the conversation, please click here.
The Black Diasporas project is a digital mapping platform that reclaims the narrative of the Black Diaspora, documenting history, validating beliefs and experiences, and recounting stories of joy, coming of age, and discomfort. The project is a geolocated digital archive of interviews of Black people, defined in this project as people of African ancestry who have been brought by force or made their way to the United States since 1619.
“Through this project we commemorate our Black biological and cultural ancestors, we pay homage to those who have fought to make a space and place for Black people to exist in freedom on this continent and in this city,” said Kholisile Dhliwayo, afrOURban’s curator. “We acknowledge that those of us who are more recent arrivals could not exist in this space without the work done by the generations of Black people that came before us.”
Over time, the content collected as part of the project will be expressed as public exhibitions of art, in spaces and places in New York and other global cities that have meaning to artists, interviewed people, and Black society.
“Every conversation we have had with interviewees has been cathartic, nostalgic and informative,” said Mafundikwa. “It is important to hear the voices and lived experiences of New York’s Black community.” afrOURban acknowledges that this project takes place on the unceded lands of the Munsee Lenape, Wappinger, Carnasie and Matinecock. We acknowledge their communities, their elders both past and present as well as future generations. We commit to the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.
For more information and to become involved, please visit https://afrourban.art/ and follow us on Instagram @afrOURban.art.