Fact Craft presents In the Middle of Things: The Poetics of Archival Praxis
“…The job of the poet is to tell the truth. An archive of poetics is an archive of the truth, or an account from the point of view of thousands of contributors of what the truth has been at various times, in various contexts, various definitions of the truth.” – Steven Taylor
This Fact Craft workshop is an experiment of truth-telling. The experiment is concerned with the construct of time as we know it, it’s rendering amongst people of color and the practice of writing through time. We urge the participants to grapple with the question: What is the truth-telling you want to embody in your writing?
As archivist and researcher, the artists facilitating this workshop offer their understanding and relationship to the archive as praxis and context for which writers can reference and grasp. Through deep analytical reading and writing prompts, we invite writers to initiate and harness their creative practices through this lens.
Akeema-Zane is a writer, researcher and multidisciplinary artist of Afro-Caribbean descent. She debuted her first solo show, In-Room 1317 in 2014 – a performance reading of a collection of short stories on her boarding school experience as a part of an installation called new renaissance sessions. Her methodology is using intersectionality to configure a blueprint for a life that centers the literary, cinematic and performance traditions. The aforementioned has included being artist-in-residence, student and fellow at Groundation Grenada, Cave Canem and The Maysles Documentary Center; leading writing workshops with the likes of The Harlem Free School; and reading, performing and installing works at Nola Darling, The Schomburg Center, A.I.R Gallery, The New Museum, Cave Canem, No Longer Empty, etc. Additionally she has collaborated with various musicians as a featured artist and producer on songs, and most recently published liner notes to Tamara Renée’s album Conjur Woman . Her published works include: There’s a Monopoly on Change, On Being the Daughter Discovering the Home of her Descendants…, Interlude, and When Money Can’t Buy You Home. Most recently, she performed with a collaborative for the Not Normal Festival at Brick Theater, in an experimental performance entitled Rotten Spring. Akeema-Zane is a native New Yorker.
Joyce LeeAnn is an archivist and interdisciplinary artist whose work aims to redefine the archive as a space for healing and transformation. She is a Denver, Colorado native based in New York City. She has worked professionally for Weeksville Heritage Center, the Associated Press Corporate Archives, and the New York Public Library. In 2011, she self-published her first archival text, somethymes grief goes for a walk. In 2013, she co-curated The Finding Aid: Black Women at the Intersection of Art and Archiving event at the Schomburg Center. She has been a Create Change fellow with the Laundromat Project, a member of the Hemispheric Institute’s EMERGENYC cohort, and an associate artist during the Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative’s Body Ecology intensive. She has performed her work at New York University, House of Yes, Shades of Burlesque events, Brooklyn Museum, and many other places. Recently, Joyce LeeAnn emancipated her labor through the cultivation of her own archival services business. And she is currently developing an artistic project that unearths her embodied archive and explores the meaning of home.
This workshop is the second installation of an ongoing collaboration of concentrated Black women solo practitioners entitled In the Middle of Things. The collaboration saw its first installment in 2015 which featured performances by the aforementioned artists, Taja Lindley and Tamara Renée. Akeema-Zane and Joyce LeeAnn are also in production of a video project.