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Issue 62 | www.fokus.org


Atiba T. Edwards, Founder & Chief Curator

Atiba is an engineer focused on making and connecting creative people through moments so that they can impact their own world.

Shani Cohen, Curator

Shani is a Brooklyn based writer who believes in uniting our diverse communities through art and the power of words.

Shareena Fontaine, Curator

Shareena is a Brooklyn based writer and marketer seeking to share her library of thoughts with the world.

Nikiesha Hamilton, Curator

Nikiesha is a cultural policy advocate that works with the art & culture community to design new frameworks and spaces with creatives to diversify the creative economy INSIGHT is a digital art magazine that showcases creatives from all disciplines. Based on the concept that art defines cultures and civilizations, we provide insight into the artists who are shaping our culture through their work today. Curated to provide insight on those who are creating art in their own way.

INSIGHT: Nostalgia

Cover Art: untitled by Àrà Dẹ̀ìndé Contributing Artists: Steven Baboun • Carisa Bledsoe • Àrà Dẹ̀ìndé • Atiba T. Edwards • Shareena Fontaine • Daonne Huff • Mz. Icar • Eniafe Tobi Jamiu • Carlos Lorenana • Olamide Ogunade • Priss Plastic

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Questions, comments and contributions can be sent to insightsubmit@gmail.com. To view past issues of INSIGHT, visit www.fokus.org/insight. Copyright © 2020. INSIGHT (ISSN 2164-7771) is a publication of FOKUS, Inc. All rights reserved on entire contents. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.


INSIGHT: Nostalgia 4 5 17 20 21 22 23 24 33 34 38

Shareena Fontaine Àrà Dẹ̀ìndé Daonne Huff Olamide Ogunade Eniafe Tobi Jamiu Carisa Bledsoe Mz. Icar Steven Baboun Atiba T. Edwards Priss Plastic Carlos Lorenana

The Bug Eyed Girl’s Nostalgia Letters to Daddy Dogwood Days [View] Til Night NOSTALGIA Tales of Two Seeds Can of Nostalgia Bmalké Have You Seen Port-au-Prince? Closed Mouths Art Kids The Gathering


INSIGHT: Nostalgia

The Bug Eyed Girl’s Nostalgia Shareena Chinue Fontaine

I don’t avoid my gaze in the mirror, even as I see the eyes that were once too big for my face, too wide and ravenous to take in the world around me, too unforgiving of the day my innocence was exchanged for pain, insecurities, and uncertainty. Nostalgia. Those moments, recalled in a manner that fit my emotions and understanding of a confused child are real and valid. Understanding that now, my heart’s capacity to empathize, forgive, and grieve, is greater so no longer do I have to punish my inner child. Understanding that the bug eyed girl could only try and sort out what she read in the eyes of a distant mother and the monsters she saw in her mirror and not under the bed. And all of these memories, molded her view of a world she now knows should be unrecognizable. Nostalgia. The only world I know is the one I’ve lived. These eyes, the gatekeepers of my story, no longer revisit the past in an attempt to reshape the narrative through the lens of a rational adult’s vision. The fragility of my inner child should be embraced and most importantly, protected-even if it is from myself. Nostalgia. My gaze was always my superpower. What the bug eyed girl has seen gives her sight of what is yet to come. I cannot say what I am without telling you who I was. And those memories, dark and light, will be missed. Nostalgia.

Shareena Fontaine is a writer and aspiring author residing in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing on inspiration from the world within and around her, she uses her writing to find the beauty in all things and people. 4 | www.fokus.org


Letters to Daddy

INSIGHT: Nostalgia

Àrà Dẹ̀ìndé

Lawino Must be heard (or Even This Is Grief)

My drawings and paintings in this body of work were created for a book project which I worked on with a writer friend, titled ‘Letters To Daddy.” Her father died in late 2018, hence she engaged me to work with her on the project in a visual illustration capacity in order to reminisce on her relationship with her father and the kind of life he led while he was alive. She wrote 30 letters for which I created 30 corresponding works of art to illustrate her musings. This was throughout last year. www.fokus.org | 5


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INSIGHT: Nostalgia

I am sharing a portion of that body of work, which highlights how we deal with the concept of grief and death in terms of our perception of them and how we heal. Nostalgia plays a huge role in this process, as it helps us preserve memories of our loved ones for posterity and also enables us to keep in touch with our emotional realities in healthy and relatable ways while looking forward to the future.

Missing Yesterday

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Missing Tomorrow www.fokus.org | 9


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Monologue www.fokus.org | 11


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Numb www.fokus.org | 13


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What Now? www.fokus.org | 15


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I’m my father’s daughter

My lover’s (not) gone 16 | www.fokus.org


Dogwood Days [View] Til Night

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Daonne Huff

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INSIGHT: Nostalgia

Daonne Huff is an arts administrator, performance centered artist, poet and Black modern flâneuse. Born and raised in Birmingham, AL but having lived above the Mason Dixon Line her entire adult life, Huff’s practice is rooted in observation, vulnerability, process, synchronicity, inviting the inside outside and rendering the invisible visible. www.daonnehuff.com www.fokus.org | 19


INSIGHT: Nostalgia

NOSTALGIA

Olamide Ogunade

Poverty... Not being able to provide for one’s self the necessities for survival It speaks of working so hard and earning so little. Sweat runs through the face showing the intensity of labor. It speaks of the analogy of the elephant and the ant. Elected leaders gobble the country’s wealth then turn around to call the youth lazy. Transparency, accountability, and selfless service are the qualities needed to break the chain of generational slavery. However, there is hope. There’s hope for Africa as they await leaders that would put the citizens’ need first rather than their own. Olamide Ogunade is a visual artist from Ogun State but resides in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria. He never had primary knowledge of art from any school but currently studying fine art in Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria. Ogunade has exhibited in several group exhibitions. 20 | www.fokus.org


Tale of Two

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Eniafe Tobi Jamiu

Tale of two tells a story about the love of power which has birthed forth greed; everyone wants to be on top and in the process, has killed what truly matters. Eniafe Gbenga is a Nigerian-based poet, creative writer, Editor(Lekeku) and content creator (Ogbeniopa.com). His poetry has been featured on Lekeku and exhibited at the prestigious KUTAs Nest Abeokuta. www.fokus.org | 21


INSIGHT: Nostalgia

Seeds

Carisa Bledsoe

This painting is about connecting to my grandparents, parents, and future offspring through the energy of the Earth and the natural cycles that connect us in an ongoing circle of life and light. Nostalgia for me is a feeling as much as a way of seeing ourselves through legacy and glory. Carisa is a yoga and meditation practitioner with particular interest in the mind body connections leading towards balance within oneself, the universe, and nature. Carisa is an activist committed to the equal representation of Queer Women of Color in the arts. www.carisabledsoe.com 22 | www.fokus.org


Can of Nostalgia

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Mz. Icar

In late 2019, we started the ‘Can Series’ as an upcycling process for our used spray paint cans. Each can represent an emotion, vibe, or solution we feel that folks look for on the internet and often wish was just easy to obtain as spraying on. Most of these cans are done in editions of 100. Pre-covid we were leaving many of them in the streets as a scavenger hunt to encourage folks to go out in the world and find something special. Mz. Icar is an art collective established in 2018. Our members comprise of a Photographer, Designer, Prop stylist, and Collage Artist. We started this collection to create works that celebrate Women, Global Blackness, and Fun. www.mzicar.com www.fokus.org | 23


INSIGHT: Nostalgia

Bmalké Have You Seen Port-au-Prince? Steven Baboun

These images are part of a series entitled Bmalké Have You Seen Port-au-Prince? I started making work about my multiculturalism— more specifically my identity as a queer Haitian-Syrian. Through the landscape of family, immigration, and confronting a sense of a fluid identity, I am looking at how my family’s journey in the world created my identity. Created me. 24 | www.fokus.org


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INSIGHT: Nostalgia

This body of images is specifically looking at my return to my grandparent’s village of Bmalké, Syria after more than a decade. This was my first time returning after the revolution and civil war started. It is not the Syria I left in 2008. I wanted to explore my family after the start of all the political chaos, unrest, and injustices through surreal, almost fantastical portraits of my mother (a Haitian-Syrian who returned with me for the first time after the revolution), my grandparents (who goes back and forth between Haiti and Syria and has tracked the political downfall of Syria after each visit), and my cousins (who left Haiti very young and currently attend school and live in Syria). What is life like in Syria for them now? What happens to my mother when she is seeing her other homeland hurt? How do we heal as a collective when our homeland is suffering? How does the fluidity of my mother and I’s identity help us heal? How do we find comfort in Syria through our Haitian heritage? 30 | www.fokus.org


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Steven Baboun is an artist and photographer from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and based in New York City. He creates through photography, installation, video, and performance art. His work explores diverse social issues within the Haitian community such as queerness, race and social class, politics, religion, and multi-cultural identities. www.stevenbaboun.com 32 | www.fokus.org


INSIGHT: Nostalgia

Closed Mouths Atiba T. Edwards

like a schoolboy que stioning the weight of my want

while wondering What if What is

What was

But My blank face stares stuck... Ruminating on the plausibility of my ideal becoming real

Atiba is the co-founder of FOKUS and founder of INSIGHT magazine. He also is the COO of Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

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Art Kids

Priss Plastic

The following paintings are scenarios that are reminiscent of the many days and nights I spent with my friends. We would often spend the days creating art, napping, listening to music, and in the nights eat snacks, play dress up, and dance all night. Obviously, I am idealizing these scenes. We were teens after all, we were not perfect, far from it. There was pettiness and small spats and tension could arise from time to time, but there was always love or at least a few level heads at any given moment to ease us through. 34 | www.fokus.org


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Though, the beauty of nostalgia is once it is a memory and not a reality you can choose the perspective in which to assign and assess those moments. That period of my life was turbulent, colorful, and excessively vibrant. The “Art Kids” series was created to capture moments I knew would be fleeting. Moments I knew I loved. Moments I wanted to turn into art. Something physical when the years have passed. For when some of us have weathered and for when some of us have gone. Isn’t that what nostalgia truly is at its heart? A deep sense of appreciation for a moment long passed, yet so impactful it was stored somewhere in the back of your mind like a film reel left on a constant loop. A film that you would star in one more time, if only you could. www.fokus.org | 35


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The” Art Kids” series was a response to the landmark Obergefell Vs. Hodges decision, on June 26th, 2015 the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage laws for same-sex couples. For the first time in history gay couples would finally be granted federal recognition. The figures present in “Art Kids” are representative of myself and my close friends. Many who have now shown themselves to be steadfast allies if not queer themselves. 36 | www.fokus.org


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“Babe” (2015 mixed media) was painted the night I came out to my grandmother and mom. “Priss Plastic” aka Daniel Lockhart is an interdisciplinary artist. They work in visual and digital art as well as music production. They attended Marymount Manhattan College where they studied studio art and art history. www.prissplastic.com www.fokus.org | 37


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The Gathering Carlos Lorenana

Gathering

Gathering in groups has become a distant memory due to the current situation that we are living in. We want to gather with friends and family and feel their warm embrace. Taking a trip to see loved ones in another country has become a challenge and it’s a voyage some of us want to take. 38 | www.fokus.org


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Embrace

Keeping nature’s existence close in mind, Carlos Lorenzana aspires to create abstract art which reflects the interdependence amongst all surrounding. Everything cannot exist on its own. www.carlosmlorenzana.crevado.com www.fokus.org | 39


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Voyage www.fokus.org | 41


Thank you for reading and supporting the arts and artists. View previous issues at www.fokus.org/insight

Profile for INSIGHT by FOKUS

INSIGHT: Nostalgia  

Nostalgia evokes warm feelings for sweet memories of bygone eras, the fashion of yesteryear and time spent with loved ones. It makes us refl...

INSIGHT: Nostalgia  

Nostalgia evokes warm feelings for sweet memories of bygone eras, the fashion of yesteryear and time spent with loved ones. It makes us refl...

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