Newcomb Art Museum in partnership with A Studio in the Woods, The ByWater Institute at Tulane University, and New Orleans Center for the Gulf South presents Uncommon Exchanges: Indigo, a unique dialogue between unlikely pairings of Tulane and Gulf South experts. LaChaun Moore and Dr. Sabia McCoy-Torres will use the museum’s current exhibition, Transcommunality by Laura Anderson Barbata, as a catalyst for conversation to remedy missing narratives and provide paths forward –through creative means – to a more equitable and just future. Moderated by Jeffery Darensbourg, Uncommon Exchanges will premiere at 6 pm on April 21 followed by a live Q&A with panelists and exhibiting artist, Laura Anderson Barbata. Register for the Zoom event on April 21 at 6 pm via the link here.
These programs are funded in part under a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. They are also supported in part by a New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation Community Partnership Grant and by a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans.
About the panelists:
Sabia McCoy-Torres is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the Department of Anthropology and Program in Africana Studies. She has a Ph.D. in social and cultural anthropology from Cornell University. Her research focuses on the English and Spanish speaking African Diaspora, race, gender/sexuality, transnationalism, and Black popular music and performance. Dr. McCoy-Torres’ current book project uses reggae culture as an ethnographic lens to interpret these dynamics within the West Indian Diaspora in Costa Rica and Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been published in Popular Music & Society; Black Music Research Journal; and Transforming Anthropology, for which she is a Contributing Editor. She has a forthcoming article in The Global South. Dr. McCoy-Torres’ course offerings include: The Anthropology of Race; Urban Music: Race, Class, and Sexuality; Blackness in Latin America; Black Transnational Culture; and Race and Migration.
LaChaun Moore is an interdisciplinary artist who engages the public with her ethnographic fiber making and research practice. Her practice focuses on plant species that are linked specifically to Black and Indigenous farmers who have been systematically exploited for their agricultural ingenuity. She earned her BFA in Integrated Design at Parsons, The New School for Design with a focus on Alternative Fashion Strategies and Social Practice. There she began her grant-funded research “Perceptions of Cotton and Agriculture within the African American Community.” She has since built a small-scale farm growing naturally-colored green and brown cotton as well as ancestral indigo sourced from a Low Country plantation. As part of her research LaChaun co-hosts the WEAVE podcast. Her work envisions investigating, documenting, and implementing ancestral knowledge as the start to chipping away at the inequalities within the fiber system.
About the moderator:
Jeffery Darensbourg is interested in the knowledge of flora, fauna, and people his Atakapa-Ishak ancestors carried with them and wishes to connect this sort of Louisiana-specific knowledge to the knowledge urban Natives such as himself have in negotiating Indigeneity, within the contemporary milieu of city life in our current social and economic climate. Jeffery U. Darensbourg is an enrolled member and tribal councilperson of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of mixed Native and Louisiana Creole ancestry. His work explores the intersections of cultural studies, mixed ethnicity, and Indigeneity.
About the artist:
I am a bicultural, transdisciplinary artist. Since 1992 I have developed sustainable art-centered projects that integrate collaborative and participatory work that addresses issues of social justice and the environment. As a Mexican born, New York based artist, it is my belief that a shared artistic social practice can serve as a platform on which we connect, learn, exchange, create, and transcend borders in order to activate our sense of belonging to a global community. My work seeks to further the expectations of socially-engaged art by involving collaborators such as archives, scientists, activists, musicians, street dancers, and artisans to create works that operate both inside and outside of the art world. Since 2001 I began to work with stilt dancers in Trinidad and Tobago, and since 2007 have consistently collaborated with the Brooklyn Jumbies, and in 2012 with the Zancudos de Zaachila from Oaxaca, Mexico. The work combines character and narrative development with numerous collaborators in addition to textile arts, sculpture, dance, masking, music, procession, improvisation, ritual and protest.
Engage with the work of the artists and scholars more: