ISSUE 40 ISSN 2164-7771 WWW.FOKUS.ORG/INSIGHT
Atiba T. Edwards
Founder & Chief Curator
Atiba is an engineer focused on making and connecting creative people, nodes, networks and moments.
Allison Maritza Lasky Curator
Allison believes that children are the best artistsâ€”they are individual universes of infinite creativity.
JoLillian "Jozi" Zwerdling Curator
Jozi finds inspiration in those who understand timelessness and travel in alternate dimensions.
FOKUS is celebrating 10 years of increasing access to the arts!
Contributors to the Futurism issue
Achraf Baznani / Bekky Beukes / Vijoy Bryant / Gigi Chen / Sara Elise / Fresh Fruit / Mindy Indy / Allison Maritza Lasky / Anthony Lee / Dolly Martinez / Blue Poet / Jeffery Reid / Ash Straw / Keisha Williams / Calypso Wilde / Ora Wise / Jozi Zwerdling INSIGHT Magazine showcases and archives emerging contemporary artists from all art disciplines. FOKUS produces this magazine to provide insight into people who are creating art, traditional and non-traditional, in their own way.
Questions, comments and submission inquiries can be sent to email@example.com INSIGHT magazine is published by FOKUS, Inc. To view back issues, visit www.fokus.org/insight All rights reserved on entire contents. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the contributors and not necessarily shared by the INSIGHT staff or FOKUS, Inc.
INSIGHT magazine: FUTURISM Table of Contents
3 Anthony Lee Flowers for Mariko 4 Calypso Wilde Future 5 Mindy Indy Metropolis Disco 6 Bekky Beukes Exposure (series) 12 Dolly Martinez Landscape (series) 14 Allison Maritza Lasky When 16 Vijou Bryant On the Colonization of Mars 17 Fresh Fruit Bloom 18 Jeffery Reid Shift to the Present (series) 14 Blue Poet Peace 26 Gigi Chen The Robot Bunnies (series) 30 Anthony Lee The Upgrade 31 Keisha Williams My Futurism 34 Sara Elise & Ora Wise Growing the Future by Harvesting the Past 40 Jozi Zwerdling On the Other Side of Hunger 41 Ash Straw Creating a Healing Playground 44 Achraf Baznani Me & I
Letter from the Curator by Jozi Zwerdling This is a sensitive time on our planet. We are at present on the cusp between our histories and the possibilities for ways we could influence our futures, through our treatment of everyone and thing living here. We determine a discipline of futurism through our visions, journeys and conceptions of time. To many, time is not seen as linear, but as cyclical or round. Futurism can be reincarnation, aliens, parallel worlds, time travel, a return to our origins of stardust. Show us what you interpret it to represent in your life. ~ Jozi Zwerdling
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Flowers for Mariko by Anthony Lee I started this painting two years ago for a friend who was going through hard times. She meant a lot to me and believed in me when I was at my worst. She helped me move past my problems. Heal, awaken, and transcend past some bullshit. She also taught me a lot about subtlety and helped me grow up. I wanted to do the same for her when she was in need, in my own way at least. In Ancient Chinese culture, talismans worked like protective seals - or in this case I like to think of Visual Mantras. Perhaps, I thought this idea could ring like a song in the physical world, or a prayer, especially if she saw it. If artists are indeed descendants of shamans, then intention and creativity must mean a lot. Whether or not it actually helped her, I'll never know for certain. To say the least, the message was received and she felt something.
Anthonly Lee is a Detroit-based artist
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The year is 3014 and I am very very bored by Calypso Wilde
Back in time Through space I've wandered farther than advised Back in time Across dimensions I've created myself a new identity Back in time Cutting through atmospheres I've ruined my ignorance I what is temporary Back in time Interrupting the clocks I've ruptured my reality and coaxed yours Back in time Entering a new world I've leaned more than the ominous future Back in time Comparing commonalities I've reproduced my present from your future.
This poem is from the perspective of a 22 year old woman, Lerox, in the year 3014 living on Saturn. Women have evolved to reproduce on their own, making sex obsolete. All drugs are prescription and alcohol is banned from the planet. With the whole planet high, immortality on the rise and no rules to break, Lerox relies on conversations with her great, great grandmother about her years on earth in 2014 to let her imagination, the one thing they haven't learned to dismantle in the mind, run wild. She comes across a friend with a mechanism that sends you to alternate dimensions and time spans. Her GGG warns her of the dangers of time travel, but Lerox is far too curious. Upon going back to earth 2014, Lerox realizes her trip has opened her eyes to something beautiful and terrifying. Her time causes a split in the universe causing her world in 3014 to cease to exist.
Calypso is a creator of her own reality, spaces, and worlds. "The works I share are invitations." Thewilde.tumblr.com 4 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
Metropolis Disco by Mindy Indy
I originally created this piece for the Gowanus Nite Market. The first market was held at Film Biz Recycling, which has all kinds of props for films. I drew 7 of the coolest props I saw and posted them on social media for the 7 days leading up to the show. My favorite props were this silver mannequin and giant disco ball. I had recently discovered the awesomeness of paint markers, and on the original art the silver parts shine. I drew it with a futuristic feel, even though if you saw the objects in real life you may not get that feeling. An independent cartoonist, Mindy Indy draws a weekly awareness comic for the Dysautonomia Foundation and creates custom comics for special occasions. She draws anything on demand and sells mini comics at comic conventions and art shows. www.mindyindy.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 5
by Bekky Beukes
For me these works represent the reincarnation and rebirth of self, a state of perfect and tragic exposure, of pure honesty, where the essence of truth is unmasked and the layers of society's superficial expectations and narcissistic judgements are abandoned. To live in a world where honesty, vulnerability and naivety are not detrimental character flaws, where peacefulness exists in abundance and the obsessive symptoms of the human condition have been eradicated. That is how I see the future - Optimistic dreamer and truth seeker. 6 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
by Bekky Beukes her threads are so intricately, so delicately woven, so uncertainly they move with the change of flow, and they bend to the unwavering currents that push and pull her, they restlessly wax and they carelessly wane with the capricious moods of the moon â€Ś ebb and flow to and fro they snap in consequential moments of her faltering disposition and she is so absolutely, so indefinitely so tragically and so beautifully, flawedâ€Ś
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by Bekky Beukes
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Peel back the layers lover, Why are you so afraid? You don't want to see, what lurks beneath all the rules you made... You came to me a broken man, with broken dreams and bleeding hands I sheltered you, and cared for you I took away your pain… She left an empty shell lover and this was all a game a game she won, a game you lost a game you played again… I took you for a broken man but all you wanted was revenge, a chance to do, what she did to you to someone you could fool… I let you fool me once lover, I let you fool me twice, you made me believe, you needed me I let you fool me thrice… I dont regret my broken heart, my broken dreams or wasted time, Because I gave you all I had to give, But what I have left is mine.
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by Bekky Beukes
This piece to me represents a period of resolution during the course of my own personal journey- that moment where you forfeit consequence because you have nothing left to loose, throwing caution to the wind, you find yourself floating in the space between fear and freedom.
Bekky Beukes graduated from DUT Fashion School in 2007 and launched CHIMERA, a reputable Fashion Couture Label in South Africa. Her figurative and illustrative 'pop culture' style is attributed to her Fashion Design background, where black lines are used to define and complete illustrations. Bekky describes 2014 as her 'year of rebirth' and she has subsequently dedicated her time to producing works inspired by life experiences and her appreciation of the female form juxtaposed with themes of tragic beauty and story telling, hoping to draw emotion from her audience. www.bekkybeukes.com 10 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
by Dolly Martinez Through a variety of colors, textures and stencils I explore art beyond the limits of canvas and country. My work examines the relationship between activism and access. Although I have a degree in architecture, I found the practice restrictive and mechanical. Instead, I seek to create thoughtprovoking art that liberates as a way of holding up a mirror to a conflicting world. With a basis in graphite drawing, graffiti and acrylic, I challenge myself to create layered, three-dimensional, empowering messages. My mixed media paintings promote the concept of unity, further highlighting the similarities of displacement in a global landscape.
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Dolly Martinez is a painter, artist and activist from New York City. Her work has been featured in several galleries throughout New York. www.elitecentric.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 13
by Allison Maritza Lasky
In my future, I see a path of questions regarding 'When?' I see marrying a woman, making and raising a family, having a dual-income household, being responsible for my parents' care and maintaining a central matriarchal role in my community. But when, when will decisions I make not matter, not challenge the expectations waiting for me at each crossroad, if ever? In the future, I see repeated questions regarding 'When.' When will it not matter that women marry women, men marry men, persons marry persons? When will it not matter what color partners' skin colors are? When will it not matter how people choose to make their family? When will it not matter what roles are taken on by individuals inside and outside of the home? I took this photo when a female friend of mine married the love of her life, another woman. I did not give a second thought to capturing this romantic, post-nuptial moment. At second, third and fourth glance, I considered... "Why did this love story not get 360 degree support? Why did this couple get challenged? Was it because of Color? Gender? I chose to play around with the image itself to challenge the challenge, manipulating the truth - as many do in order to live and enjoy their happiness. Here, in this photographic experiment, if we can't see the color or gender, does this story look and feel different? Art gives us the tools to provide a new lens. What do you see here? What do you think? In an ideal future, nothing relating to love will matter. Individuals' decisions will be respected, honored, cherished and celebrated. My futurism is a lack of-ism(s), and simply a beautiful future.
Suzanne E. Abramson (s.e.a.), is a photographer and artist whose work explores the dynamics of sexuality and fetishism and its relationship to intimacy, pushing boundaries and capturing moments of beauty. She lives and works in Brooklyn. 14 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
Allison believes that children are the best artistsâ€”they are individual universes of infinite creativity. INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 15
On The Colonization of Mars by Vijou Bryant
Here are my thoughts. 1. It will continue to be attempted 2. One attempt will be successful 3. It might be the U.S., it might not be 4. People will try to live there 5. Some people will die because of a human inability to adapt to Marsâ€™ atmosphere 6. Others will be killed because beings will be like get the fuck off my land The End.
Vijoy Bryant is an Afro-Asian feminist futurist utilizing the tools of astrology, counseling, and integrative nutrition to time shift and heal the planet. 16 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
by Fresh Fruit
As the world shifts and changes, the environment has taken severe tolls in the name of human progress. What would the future look like if we continue on this path? Inspired by the works of Octavia Butler and the mythologies found in the Pacific, this piece is a part of a collection entitled â€œFuture Skin,â€? a look at a world where humans have literally adapted to nature. We have called upon it to give us a natural skin, one that can guard us from the environment that we have failed to protect and also give us certain qualities to strengthen us in this new world. Fresh Fruit is an artist duo comprised of a visual artist and photographer who collaborate to create spiritually nutritious art, inspired by the stories, myths and legends of the communities we call home. hafaroldy.tumblr.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 17
Shift to the Present by Jeffery Reid
My portraits are not of divinities, nor are they used for worship services. This new work is about people for whom affections are strongly or often excessively set; people who are greatly loved or adored. The majority of the collection is of dark-skinned people because of my personal affiliation. For reasons of the inaccurate depictions in film, news, and music, I consider my responsibility towards my brothers to be uplifting, informing, and suggesting reconsideration of our struggles to survive and flourish. Attending the Art Institute of Chicago in a post-Baccalaureate film program, I was inundated with all types of artists: sculptors, filmmakers, painters, photographers, etc. Seeing that my film program was largely occupied by white South Africans around the same time as apartheid, I gravitated towards the painters, noticing that they had more parties and social functions. I can remember one party where a funny little man, T. J. Darwin, had the most exquisite true-to-life portraits from the World War II conflict: Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hirohito, Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler. Everybody at the party loved his work except for the Hitler portrait. They informed him that he shouldn't have done that one and an uproar ensued over this Hitler piece. I realized then the power of a painting. At the age of three when my mother told me that my baby-sitter had died, I didn't understand. She assured me that I would see her again in heaven, and so I searched for heaven. I've read the Bible five times and have become a follower of God. Through the years, my film making, photography, writing, and painting have been God-conscience - apocalyptic pronouncements in particular. My apocalyptic paintings depict a nude figure, weapon in hand, lunging towards the viewer accompanied with a machine of war. Showing these nudes on the streets of New York after the towers fell, I was able to secure some points in Manhattan to my work wherein I wouldn't be forced away. After coming back to Chicago and displaying the five by seven feet nude paintings in the windows of the flat iron building, I had to find a First Amendment lawyer due to the commotion it caused. Though I was able to show my work, I wasn't able to sell my horrific views of the coming end, and so I changed my emphasis from the end to the present. My present day idols: Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Halle Barry, Bill Gates, Bono, Barack Obama, Spike Lee, Abraham Lincoln, Shroud of Turin, Harold Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Che Guevara, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Muhammad Ali, Albert Einstein, Haile Selassie, Michael Jordan, Father Michael Pfleger, the Mona Lisa, Michelle Obama, Thurgood Marshall, Michael Jackson, Pope John Paul II, Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Princess Diana are all people I admire for their rise to the top and fortification of the bottom. These idols make it their just cause to use their celebrity influence and money to alchemize the injustice, poverty, and ignorance of the world. These painted images are not only for the masses, but also for me. They are a reminder of the greatness of humanity, throughout time and history, that I personally strive for. I want people to look at this series and take on that strive for greatness themselves. 18 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
Jeffery Reid is a New York based artist. You can view more of his work at www.idolportraits.com/ INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 19
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World Piece by Blue Poet
PEACE It is the year… I don’t remember, and all enemies of peace have left the face of the Earth. The flowers grow uncontested by trampling feet, and animals roam freely in the street. There are no wild chases, and there are no foul faces. Fight or flight is an out of sight kind of right, and our only plight is sustaining this. Way back when peace consisted of being prepared for more war, and being suspicious of those next door. Times of peace in my country were times of no war abroad, whilst a different kind of peace was brewing right before us. If the stock market wasn’t busy crashing, someone was getting robbed because somebody couldn’t feed their family. The story of Robin Hood did no good when trying to conceptualize what could be considered “real good.” A peaceful world was once thought to be an idea, but we here actually have it; many problems rise and fall out of it, but first I must describe it. The world is now covered with so many full bellies as the many different ages have come and gone; stone, industrial, technological but one alleviated them all for a feast known as peace. Children are honored with inalienable rights to learn what they want at their own pace for it is no longer a race. Nature and humanity have reassembled their once bushy relationship well equipped for a greener future. Machines are no longer a necessity because everyone travels by animal or by foot. I understand with that breeze carrying the smell of salt you’re undeniably worried about the seas but the old Polynesian, or Polynez once navigated the world from a canoe, only using one tree, so see, ships are a burdensome fee. Fees were eliminated from this world because who are we to put a price on life; by living lavishly you actually put into practice the price but who says you cannot be happy with a grain of rice? If everyone eats the same then where is the vice? There are no land rights so everyone becomes nomads overnight; now everyone travels from world to world no longer fighting over a resource because they were entitled to more than one like a sea horse. This may sound like chaos to a non-peaceful mind but please imagine this peace. I found a lack of world ills. The population is on the rise thanks to less world kills. Illness is no longer treated like a business so if you contract HIV/AIDS you’re no longer sprayed with raid, or given pills to die another day. You’re given the cure and it happens to be pure as a pile of smiles. Picture everything cured essentially this would take a while, but refined minds march mentally to what’s fine. I lose myself in the moment, to the point where birth defects no longer erect a staff jettisoning out of your normal plan; because in this world of peace we truly understand that normal is the story of no man nor womyn. Cancer and chemo become stories like the black plague told proceeding age; when humans were lost in sustaining the wrong ways. Now we exhibit health like an unfettered planet dancing in galaxies without the wonder of who will inhabit it. The common cold has become like the North and South Poles, just mysteries for those who don’t seek where they hide.
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Ebola, once the new end of the world, has became an integral part in finding a way to eliminate disease and not sustain the pain for monetary gain. It taught us that our once lofty hopes and aims were achievable once we eliminate profits and work on growing people; this of course starting from the fetal. Young people are made to lead because they come in this world knowing more than those that are gray. The gray aren’t young enough to know everything and the young are interested in it all. Great walls and laws of separation haven’t been erected in their open minds so we follow their curiosity until the end of time. Each leader is born and ten years of reign for the sake of change and alleviation of the mundane. This leads me to mention language, for now it’s not the result of imperialistic and colonial advantage; language depends on the spot our new young ruler drops. For the first ten years of rule when the royalty is covered in drool, all of the world’s people learn as if they’re back in school- learning alongside the new leader to remember time will always change and when you start over things are never the same. How humble you have to be when your leaders can barely speak? In this life no language is chosen twice and by the end polyglots are the secret ingredient in a melting pot. I’m describing a world far out of scope of your mind range and I hope that you’re with me as we turn each page. This is the future of the future and I know you wonder how can keep the peace; we would need peacekeepers to say the least. These are the inconsistencies that one would find; when your third eye is blind. Skin color was doused away in the year…I don’t remember, but from what I was told immediately after, you were able to now see differently. The energy you exhibit was the only thing to inhibit the grace of the human place. Race? This was made up for despicable dissention amongst the inheritors of the Earth; we stand together or not at all. World peace, and now we all have world piece. For now I cease until the next chapter creeps.
"Inherited the world from forbidden fruit; it lacked roots. Burdened with glorious purpose. Nothing across these eyes are seen as worthless. I will change the world today, tomorrow and even yesterday. Back to the fruit." INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 25
The Robot Bunnie by Gigi Chen
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Robot Bunnies!!!, 2010. Born in Guang Dong, China and raised in New York, Gigi Chen creates an aesthetic that combines her training as a traditional animator and her love of Old Master techniques. Gigiâ€™s philosophy: Love + Fun = Art. Gigi currently works and resides in New York City. www.gigichen.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 27
The Touch, 2010
The Enabler, 2011. 28 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
Gimme Back M' Mobile, 2011.
This series follows the relationship between a couple and the strange creature that appears at their doorstep. The Robot Bunnie is not a toy and not quite a pet. Now the couple has to contend with this cute but sometimes disruptive part of their lives.
Look, 2011. INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 29
The Upgrade by Anthony Lee
I orginally drew a picture of a robot in highschool and lost the paper for about a year or so. Eventually I found the drawing and decided to add characters around it. After that I watercolored, pen and inked it. Later it became my best "Work of Art" for a period. Then I lost it again. HA! Two years later in art school, I realized I only had a digital jpeg copy of the work, and that pissed me off. I had to repaint it again, this time in acrylic - and hopefully in time for my first curated show, which was a long shot. It became again my best painting ever... and collected dust in my parents basement for another 2 years.
"The Upgrade" is about the 5 people that may come into your life if you do not have self respect: - one will try to dress you - one will marginalize your brain capacity - one will write notes behind your back - one will hold ideals against you - one will blindly follow those 4 You gotta accept your imperfections. Don't be like other people. Just let yourself evolve. Not everything needs to be "upgraded."
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by Keisha Williams
These pieces represent my futurism in the sense of how I see the world and finally accepting that it is ok and using it in my creativity and sharing it with the world. Keisha Williams (of SoulMama Paintings) is a a self taught abstract painter from Brooklyn. She started painting in 2010 as a hobby but truly found her calling. "Painting is my life! I just love having conversations with my paintbrush, every piece tells a story, MY STORY!" INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 31
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Growing the Future by Harvesting the Past by Sara Elise and Ora Wise
When early humans discovered the ability to cook their food, it transformed their ways of life and eventually even their bodies- which have now evolved into our bodies. Guts shrank and brains expanded as our predecessors were able to outsource part of the digestive process, spending less energy breaking down food internally, while accessing more nutrients and a wider range of foods made edible by heat. Cooking transformed these hunter gatherers who often consumed their acquisitions solo. Tending the cooking fire required cooperation, gathering for a meal, and sharing food. Thus, community was forged around the cooking fire. Some of our current ways of eating threaten to undo this significant achievement. The business of our schedules, the loneliness of the fast food eater, the disconnection and distance between people and the farms their food comes from, and the toxicity of the actual food being consumed all reverse so much of the evolution we humans have accomplished over generations of learning to draw from the land and sea what is available and transform it into even more flavorful and nutritious food. Food can nourish, give pleasure, connect and strengthen communities, teach us about the world we live in, and carry stories. It maintains life and enhances it. As Felipe Fernando-Armesto writes, â€œ[food] can change the eater for the better or worse. It has spiritual and metaphysical, moral and transmutative effects."
Linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to our communities and the planet is a key element of the world we, at Bed Stuy Kitchen, want to help build. The Western conception of meals; protein-centric, obsessed with the choicest cuts, individual entrees, tons of sugar from colonized far away lands; is harming our planet and limiting our experience of the full possibilities of what good food can be. The most globally influential cuisines- Italian, Indian, Japanese, and Chinese, amongst others, evolved over generations- their classic dishes emerging as cooks worked with the resources that were available, shaped by what the land could supply. The industrialized food system, with itâ€™s giant monoculture farm businesses, factory feedlots crammed with animals, and shipping of produce all around the world at all seasons, has destroyed that relationship between what we eat and what makes sense for us to eat in the places that we live. 34 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
The new cuisine we are imagining for the future needs to go beyond individual consumers buying organic produce or grass-fed beef. It must begin to reflect what the landscape can actually provide. Chef Dan Barber offers the question: Since the best cuisines co-evolved over thousands of years, tethered to deep cultural traditions, how does one begin building a cuisine of the future? Truly delicious food is contingent on farming that works with nature, exerting less control and more cooperation. As cooks we need to observe and interpret the environment we live in. We need to see cooking as part creating and part evoking. We are collaborators in an unbelievably complicated and fragile system. As we develop our meals, we need to be paying attention to our planets and our bodies, rather than projecting preconceived notions of what people currently think makes a meal (especially when these thoughts are often the product of conditioning by a broken food system). The future of food is cooking rooted in our understanding that what we eat is part of an integrated whole- a web of relationships that cannot be reduced to single ingredients or buzz words and shallow changes to our food system. The cooking we need to be doing celebrates crops and cuts of meat that are not necessarily the most familiar or popular but will allow us to produce the most delicious food that is affordable and sustainable. INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 35
What is the best kind of food will be constantly in flux, evolving to reflect the best of what nature can offer, not shaped by the expectations diners have developed in this country, disconnected from where food comes from. The future we want to cook up isn’t just reimagining meals less centered around unsustainable giant cuts of meat but also meals that don’t necessarily follow the linear flow building up to and winding down from a big main course. There are ways to create main dishes that, rather than showcase big proteins, command attention by their form and appearance, their visual complexity, textures, and layers of flavors. This could be a colorful stew heaped upon grains with an accompanying sauce and fresh herbs sprinkled on top or a frittata of roasted vegetables and cheeses, baked golden and served in cast iron. We also can arrange meals in an entirely different way, as many cultures have and still do. A series of smaller dishes offered one after the other, or the main parts of the meal served all together on platters necessitating sharing, serving each other, and passing dishes between hands. The future of food that we’re imagining relies on learning from the past that many, although not all of us, have been disconnected from. Native ancestral diets necessitate the use of foods that have to be worked with and prepared by hand and cannot be mass produced. Traditional farming practices in Mesoamerica involved growing multiple interdependent crops for a period of time and letting the land lie fallow for a longer period. The cuisines of Western Asia and North Africa have always involved large platters of different foods served together and eaten communally. Immigrant communities in the U.S. as well as African American communities have always created delicious and well-loved dishes utilizing the “throw-away” cuts of meat like livers, ears, and tongues- nose to tail cooking not as a trend, but simply essential for feeding one’s family in a sustainable way. The future of food relies on creating spaces where we can share knowledge, resources, and skills that preserve local food traditions, elevate our consciousness about what we eat and how we eat it, support and create our own alternatives to the unhealthy and destructive industrial food system, and indulge in the sensuality and wisdom of the culinary arts. Those of us who are attuned to the connections between plate, planet, community, health, and culture must share inspiring recipes, stories, articles, conversations, and other resources to help each other create new food pathways for ourselves and our communities. 36 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
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Here’s one of our favorite dishes to enjoy in late fall/early winter in New York City. It is straightforward and involves a simple and accessible ingredients list and it’s super flavorful! Frittata of roasted cauliflower, caramelized onions & smoked gouda with romesco Serves 4-6 / Delicious warm or at room temperature
1 medium/large onion 1 cauliflower 1.5 cups smoked gouda 1/2 cup whole milk half stick of butter olive oil (see note) 7 eggs salt, black pepper, mild paprika
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 roasted red peppers (see below for the process) 2-3 cloves of garlic 1-2 tomatoes, de-stemmed and cored 2 or 3 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar 1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds a dash of cayenne 1/3 of a baguette, a couple of slices of any day old bread, or even a half bagel sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Begin by dicing one medium sized onion. Start a stainless steel or cast iron saute pan over low heat with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil (or butter if you want to use more locally produced ingredients). Throw one little piece of the onion in. Once the test piece of onion is sizzling, add the rest of the diced onion to the pan, stir to coat. Cook the onions over very low heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan every few minutes. ~10mins: Onions will start to soften and turn translucent in spots. They will release a lot of liquid into the pan. ~20mins: Onions will be very soft and starting to break down. Some onions will start to show spots of caramelization. They will also start to smell caramelized. Adjust the heat if the onions seem to be cooking too quickly or you notice any burnt spots. ~30mins: Onions should be light blonde in color. ~40mins: Onions are golden and starting to smell very caramelized. Once finished, set onions aside and let them cool down. Meanwhile: Preheat your oven to 390 degrees. Chop 1 head of cauliflower into small florets (you can save the stems for making your own stock later). Toss the florets in a bowl with olive oil (or vegetable or seed oil you can get locally if you’re committed to that), salt, black pepper, and a few dashes of mild paprika. 38 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
Spread the coated florets on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until they are browned (around 20 minutes but just keep checking), turning them after about 10 minutes to get more even browning. Once they’re roasted, taste for salt and add more if you need to before setting aside. Grate a little bit more than 1 cup of smoked gouda. In a large mixing bowl, crack 7 eggs (from somewhere you know to be safe, ethical, and delicious) and whip briefly with a fork, until yolk and white are incorporated. Then add about a 1/2 cup of milk, a couple of pinches of salt, and a couple of dashes of black pepper. Add the onions, cauliflower, and cheese (leaving a little bit for sprinkling on top later) to the egg mixture and stir until all is well incorporated. Start a cast iron skillet on very low heat. Grease the bottom and sides of the skillet thoroughly with butter. When the butter starts to sizzle, pour in the frittata mixture, use a spoon to gently spread out the veggies and cheese if they are not well distributed. Cover the skillet and cook over the lowest heat for about 15-20 minutes- but keep checking it. In the meantime, turn on the broiler in your oven. When the frittata is 80% finished cooking, remove the cover, sprinkle on the last little bit of cheese and place the frittata under the broiler. Set a timer for 2 minutes and then check it. You want the frittata to be golden brown in spots across the top and fully cooked- no liquid left. So keep it under the broiler if it jiggles too much or isnt nicely browned and bubbled up yet. Once it is, remove it quickly and let it rest and set for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the skillet. To make the romesco sauce to serve this with: Note: We sometimes like ours smooth and creamy so we throw all of the ingredients in a strong blender. If we want more texture, we use a food processor. To roast the red peppers, cut them in half, scrape out the seeds, and then place them open face down on a baking sheet. Place the sheet directly under the broiler in your oven and roast until charred and blistering. You’ll want to maybe shift the peppers around to make sure they’re getting equal exposure to the flame. Then remove them from the heat and immediately place them in a tupperware and close the lid to “sweat” them. After about 20 minutes, once they are cool enough to touch, peel the skin off. Add all of the ingredients into the blender or food processor and blend until the sauce is the consistency you desire and all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Bed Stuy Kitchen: a private event catering and personal chef service in Brooklyn, NY. www.bsksustenance.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 39
On the Other Side of Hunger by Jozi Zwerdling
Inspired by Octavia Butler/ the tragedies/all the Radical Imaginative Futurists who surround me After 3 terrible winters they all knew something was amiss. Icebergs rose/tipped with plastic glass icewater through the puddles. Everywhere the wind blew sharp through the trees --the silence before the end. People looked at each other grimly, they could No longer avoid eye contact. We hid behind the orange metal columns of the subway system, Pacing, Building caves with the rats. Some had moved onto space. They were brave and crazy. We were too afraid to leave this place, acidic Rain though it may on the green, Green springs We refused to forget. They returned to no gravity and flotation. We bedded down with the dirt and prayed. I had envisioned more fireworks.
Jozi Zwerdling is a social worker, social justice facilitator, youth development worker, story teller, collagist and artist enabler. She resides in Brooklyn, NY. Instagram: @soothsong 40 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
Creating the Healing Playground by Ashley M. Straw
I had struggled with food intake, body-image and navigating an appropriate-sized concern for the approval of others for the duration of my life, leading up to my move to New York in 2006. The nature of the work I do, which could be called multidisciplinary performing arts, and the climate already within me was ripe for eating disorder. I lived with Bulimia, in my apartment, in my school, in my relationships and in many of New York City's swankiest bathrooms for four years. I developed other addictive habits in that time. In an effort to create an entirely different body, self-image and lifestyle from the outside-in, I ran myself into a corner. I woke up one day to find myself weak, nearly immobile, sick and still binging and purging. The amount of self-pity I had developed over time kept me locked into this cycle as if it were the only form of relief from the natural sufferings of life. I was evicted from my apartment. I don't know what happened. One morning, I woke up and I had the will to change. I don't know who or what it was that entered my awareness but, suddenly, I had the will to change from within. This is not a moment that we can give to one another, it is a moment that has to be self-realized. But once it's been lit-up, one of the most important things we can do as interconnected beings is feed it in each other, share the tools that have worked in our lives and keep that fire going through Humanity. Once my mind changed around Bulimia and I stopped physically engaging in any of the behaviors, space was being created by some healthier part of myself for Life to have the opportunity to grow. I embarked on a healing journey. I will never forget the first time I tried to meditate. I didn't know what meditation was or why I was doing it, I just felt like I had to. Throughout my life, I had become a pro at not accepting myself and putting on a face like everything was OK. After living with the disorder for 4 years, I ran from accepting Bulimia as a reality in my life for about another 3 years. Every time I mentioned it a wall of guilt and shame would arise. Every time I mentioned anything from that period of my life a wall of guilt and shame would arise. I ran all over the country to get away from it! I literally walked from here to Georgia with my partner at the time. It took me 3 years to realize I needed to look at this illness seriously, as it presented itself in my life. There, my healing journey took a deep turn. On this journey, I have found that one of the most effective ways for me to process guilt and shame is through Theatre Games. They literally provide a neutral Playing Ground for people who are healing to practice what it might feel like to have Moved On. Not to have ignored, but to have faced and accepted the realities of their tribulations, to take ownership of them and to practice what it would feel like in real time if that issue were now just the "compost" supporting and nourishing something truly empowered. For four years, working with Healing Theatre, I played a woman named Corinne. Corinne was sexually abused at the age of 3 and began being consistently raped by her uncle at the age of 8 until he passed on. Playing this role four times over the course of four years, I was able to trace my own healing journey. The first time I played her she was a victim who garnered a lot of sympathy from her audiences. That changed as I used her story as an entry-way into my own story. I used her journey as a frame of reference to get deeper into my own. What about her resonated with me? Where was the compassion deepest? Why? Etc. INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 41
Little did I know that by my being involved in this play Corinne, an imagined woman, was being fully liberated and so was I. In the fourth production of this play, I chose that Corinne could be fully liberated if I wanted her to be. If I chose it, she could have embraced the totality of her experience and Moved One. Basically, it had been up to me the whole time. Ah ha: If it is up to me the whole time, whether Corinne be liberated or victimized by her reality then, it is also up to me if I am victimized or liberated by my reality! This was a Great Realization of how the worlds of play and reality can magically collide and result in true creation. Currently, I am creating this Neutral Playing Ground through Hungerpeace for myself and others to face the truth together and practice a new and liberated way of operating and relating with the world as we live it. And it feels great. And it has my wheels turning: Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat. Those of us who engage with eating disorders have skillfully cultivated dense personalities around it, hiding and protecting the disease itself. The disease becomes more comfrotable than love, understanding, companionship and community. Because these disorders are so all-encompassing, even mentioning certain behaviors can trigger someone who is not yet Bulimic to become inundated in the behaviors. Because of this and, I believe, because many people struggle daily with their food-intake, body image and a positive sense of self, a great stigma has developed in how we, as a people, can and cannot treat Eating Disorders and how we can and cannot talk about them. However, once enough space has self-arrisen for liberation, love, understanding, companionship & community to be experienced in a real way, there will be no turning back. The healing has begun. Suffering is a part of the human-experience. However, because of the cultural climate we've come up in, there is currently a lot of extra or self-imposed suffering, or as Jack Kornfield calls it "emotional poverty" that we, as a people, need to face and heal through. So, I have begun to explore how I can contribute; where, when and how I can create Neutral Playing Grounds where others can practice, in real time, what it would feel like to let go of guilt and shame? To practice living in their empowered reality; cultivate a new way of being in a safe space while also dealing with the issues that lead them here. All of the effective healing I've received to bring me back into being a generally functional and often THRIVING Human Being has been non-traditional. I think that thinking outside of the box is going to be really effective for this issue. It's up to us. If we say that eating disorders, or anything, are difficult to treat then, they are. What if we changed that line of thinking? Whether we choose, as individuals to look at it or not, our culture is affected by this issue across the board; from our sugar addictions to our emotional or detached eating at the television to our binge eating on holidays to our obeisity epidemic to our over-sexualized portrayal of human bodies in the media. We could all use some non-traditional discussion and play around these issues so that they are not so stigmatized. Let's get ourselves some Liberation!
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The vision for Hungerpeace is that is become a self-sustaining body of work. On December 20th, Hungerpeace will have it's first reading in the Hall at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. Hungerpeace will go on to become a platform for workshops, retreats, conferences, televised and radio-aired roundtable conversations, healing theatrical experiences and more traditional theatrical productions. Hungerpeace is not only a Play. It is a full-scale project. The workshops we conduct will utilize the lauguage of the play itself, storytelling, yoga, contemplative & self-reflective meditation, compassionate group communication, and All Kinds of PLAY. The ultiamte goal of the project is to develop a healing model that can be taken to in & out-patient facilities around the country as well as to dance, modeling, and other academies prone to cultivating these behaviors to do preventative measures. And that's only the vision from where I can see. Healing endeavors like this have lives of their own. I planted the seeds of this work and someone else tended the crop and the ground itself nourished and sprouted the seedlings. Consider this a story, sure, but also consider it an invitation; to be a part of the conversation, to take a look at how negative energetic-intake and self-image have present themselves in your life. And, perhaps most importantly, may this article serve to ask you the question: Is there a story you are withholding that others need to hear?
Ashley Straw is a multidisciplinary artist & ritual theatre practitioner with certifications in contemporary drama, musical theatre & yoga. She is committed to using her life and art as a pure vehicle for healing through traumas avoided by previous generations. hungerpeace.wordpress.com INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 43
Me & I
by Achraf Baznani
I digitally spliced my adult self into old photographs from my childhood.
Moroccan photographer and filmmaker Achraf Baznani â€‹(born in Marrakesh) â€‹carries on the traditions of Surrealism with his wild, imaginative, and wholly impractical imagery. A self-taught artist, Baznani has no formal photography education http://www.baznani.com/ 44 | INSIGHT MAGAZINE
The idea of this photo shows the importance of reading. Reading enables the mind to think over objects of interest, which enable a person in making informed decisions, its food for the soul. INSIGHT MAGAZINE | 45
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