For Immediate Release
ATLANTA (April 4, 2012) -- On Saturday, April 7, the Atlanta community will have an opportunity to witness an artistic account of the experiences of ordinary Egyptians living in these extraordinary times during the multi-disciplinary presentation Bearing Witness: the stories of ordinary people living during extraordinary times. Phase one of a two-phase project, this multi-media performance will fuse poetry, dance, video, installation art and photography to symbolize bridging differences through collective consciousness and awareness. Free and open to the public, the event will take place in the Cosby Academic Center lobby at Spelman College at 8 p.m.
Arturo Lindsay, D.A., professor of art and art history at Spelman conceived the project recognizing that “during extraordinary times, stories tend to be told more sincerely. The idea of ‘bearing witness’ fosters dialogue and bridge-building by allowing members of the community to voice their stories in a friendly forum. The stories will provide the participants with a single focus thereby creating collaborative and inter-disciplinary works of art.”
To replicate Tahrir Square, a notable location for major protests and demonstrations in Cairo, Egypt, the installation will consist of eight to ten pedestals with video monitors playing newscasts of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. The repository of news clips collected from national outlets such as NPR, BBC, the New York Times, Aljazeera, and CNN served as inspiration for the participants to create their performance.
Along with Dr. Lindsay, principal collaborators from Spelman include T. Lang, assistant professor, Drama and Dance; Sharan Strange, instructor, English; Opal Moore, associate professor, English; Laura English Robinson, instructor, Music; and Joe Jennings, director, Spelman College Jazz Ensemble.
The second phase of the project will allow witnessing on a more intimate level as the project moves to Cairo where Dr. Lindsay will partner with local arts organizations to engage underserved youth and create community-based projects. The Egyptian partner organization is Medrar for Contemporary Art, which works with and supports young emerging artists in Egypt and encourages cross-cultural dialogue. The project will target broad audiences from both Egypt and the U.S.
Bearing Witness was developed in collaboration with Atlanta and Cairo based artists, educators, technicians and students. It is one of 15 projects initiated by the smARTpower program to foster people to people diplomacy worldwide. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Bronx Museum of Art in the U.S. in collaboration with Medrar for Contemporary Art in Cairo, Egypt.
The second smARTpower artist to travel abroad, Lindsay has had an extensive and distinguished career. He has collaborated on projects with members of street gangs, day laborers, intellectuals, artists, poets, architects, academics and government officials from various national and cultural backgrounds. For more information, visit Inside Spelman.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.