Page 5

Foreword When we initiated this event in Summer 2016, black masculinity was under the microscope…for all the wrong reasons. Since our event, unfortunately, that spotlight hasn’t dimmed. While Fanon spoke about the black body as a phobogenic object — a source of anxiety and fear, bell hooks speaks about the black male as desired, but not loved. In posing the question ‘when and how did you become a black man?’, Philadelphia-based artist Shikeith’s open-format experimental documentary #Blackmendream (2015), explores constructions of black male identity in America today and establishes a ‘safe space’ online for discussion using the eponymous hashtag via Twitter. HOTBLACKMALES extended this line of questioning, asking where does the needle point today? Expanding the hashtag to a UK context (#BlackmendreamLDN), HOTBLACKMALES invited black male artists and cultural figures including Gaika (musician), Shabaka Hutchings (musician), Isaac Kariuki (artist), James Massiah (musician/artist), and Irvin Pascale (artist), to ‘take the pulse’ of black masculinity today — talking group mentality, intersectionality, fetishisation, support structures and obstacles to vision, and projecting new horizons for the future. Our panelists watched Shikeith’s film with a handful of audience members before expanding on their own understanding of black masculinity. The discussion that followed is printed alongside photographs taken from IGGYLDN’s project ‘Black Boys Don’t Cry’.

5

Contributors: Recontextualized for the London scene, #BlackmendreamLDN featured seven emerging and established black male creatives, all with a highly unique perspective on the past, present, and future representation of black male identity. Gaika makes music. Shabaka Hutchings makes music. Isaac Kariuki makes art. James Massiah makes music & art. Irvin Pascal makes art. Coby Sey makes music. Shikeith makes art.

Profile for Thandi Mbire

BlackMenDreamLDN  

In asking ‘how and when did you become a black man?’, Philadelphia-based artist Shikeith attempts to prompt discussion in his open-format an...

BlackMenDreamLDN  

In asking ‘how and when did you become a black man?’, Philadelphia-based artist Shikeith attempts to prompt discussion in his open-format an...

Advertisement