Posts tagged with "Black experience"

Beyoncé - Black is King illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

A Gift From Beyoncé

‘Superb. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time!’Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

By Mina Tocalini

Beyoncé’s new film “Black is King,” a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry”, released on Disney+ today. Similar to Beyoncé’s 2016 film, “Lemonade,” “Black is King” acts as a visual album to her soundtrack, “The Lion King: The Gift.” Black Is King” explores the “timeless lessons” from Lion King in a visually rich modern journey of Black empowerment and resilience.

Beyoncé announced her excitement for the film’s release via Instagram, while further acknowledging the impact of its release and message: “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history.”

Beyoncé’s prideful film explores the Black experience and history through a young king’s story of “betrayal, love and self-identity.” Additionally, given the timing of its release, the film presents the necessity of honoring and telling stories from the Black perspective and that of any underrepresented community.

Simply put, the film is a celebratory visual journey of the Black experience. Initially the flow of the story seems interrupted and fast paced, but further on, it becomes clear that instead of following a linear narrative, it challenges the audience to find the connections within the short moments that frame each message.

Reiterating the same story we know and love is unnecessary, so rather, “Black is King” reinvents the Lion King through thematic experimentation intended to ignite pride in the Black identity. In a stunning collage of Afro-Soul music, narrative driven reflections and strikingly beautiful imagery, the film successfully expresses inspirational messages of hope, growth, love and community.

Some have critiqued the lavish presentation of Blackness via art, dance and fashion to be excessive and fast paced. Yet, this film’s message is focused on individuality and self love derived from the appreciation of Black culture. A culture of an entire continent and of Black communities around the world, it is anything but simple.

The immense detail in this film celebrates the complexity of Black beauty and the fast paced editing can not only be considered a reference to music video styles. It may originate from there, but can we not interpret it as being part of the overwhelming journey of defining your identity while struggling with the racial tensions in society.

Beyoncé did not create this to simply further enhance her image in a display of wealth, popular culture already associates her persona this way, we expect it and should not disregard the artistry for embracing it. She is simply using her power as a superstar to lead the unifying celebration, as should be done by those who can.

Additionally, Beyoncé is not the only star in “Black is King”, although American audiences may mainly recognize her. Emerging African artists such as Wizkid, Busiswa, Shatta Wale, Salatiel, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tekno, Moonchild Sanelly and Lord Afrixana were part of the album and in some in the film. Black American artists also include Kelly Rowland, 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Jessie Reyez, Pharrell Williams, Nija, and Tierra Whack. The presence of these Black American legends establishes the familiarity necessary to create an alliance between both Black cultures and induce a movement of African diaspora celebration.

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Graffiti illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

The Fabric of America: Artists in Protest

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the Museum of Graffiti will open a new exhibition titled The Fabric of America: Artists in Protest. Over 30 South Florida graffiti artists and illustrators were invited to create protest themed art on denim jackets in the tradition of the protest signs seen at marches.

“Providing a platform for artists to contribute to the national discussion is important to the Museum and a way for local artists to join the conversation,” states the Museum’s curator Alan Ket, he adds, “These artists work in the streets but we have invited them indoors to engage in a dialogue of resistance with our audience.”

“These wearable artworks articulate what you believe in at all times, without you having to say a word” said Allison Freidin, co-founder of the Museum of Graffiti.

Included in the show will be an audio/visual installation that counts down to 0 from 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck and video works by Chintz and Alan Ket.

Internationally recognized artists Futura 2000, Tristan Eaton, and Cey Adams will contribute new posters and prints that are in line with their staunch dissatisfaction with what has become our country’s status quo.

The new exhibit ties in with the recently created large-scale mural titled AMERICAN HISTORY on the walls of two adjacent buildings at NW 25th Street and 3rd Avenue. Focusing on the Black experience in US history starting in the early 1800s through current day, the giant mural, curated by the Museum of Graffiti, tackles the subjects of police brutality, racial injustice, and resistance.

The local artists taking part in the exhibit include: Chillski, Crome, Tackz, Disem, Ahol Sniffs Glue, Cash4, Rasterms, Klass, Cyst, Grab, Tragek, Delvs, Quake, Ticoe, View2, Chnk, Jel Martinez, Etone, Rage, Krave, June, Keds, Junk, Meta4, Drums Brown, Santiago Rubino, Cale K2S, Ruth, Faves, Blackbrain, Emerald, and Tierra Armstrong.

The exhibition also presents the photographic works of Pablo Allison, a human rights worker and documentarian who since 2017, has been following the migrant trail from Central America to the USA. Each photograph depicts powerful instances of protest graffiti that Allison captured on the trains used by migrants to escape inhumane conditions.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Empowered Youth, a Miami based not-for-profit dedicated to enhancing the lives of inner-city, at-risk youth. Their programs teach career skills that help to eradicate poverty and violence. They serve young men between the ages of 12-21, most of whom have been referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The Museum of Graffiti is open to the public with safety-first procedures, including an admission system that only allows for 6 people to enter the premises every 15 minutes. Guests must purchase tickets in advance online or from their mobile devices as they approach the Museum in order to avoid on-site transactions.

TICKETS & HOURS

General Admission tickets are $16, Children 13 and under are free. Tickets are available online and include access to all museum exhibitions. 

The Museum of Graffiti is open from 11 AM – 5 PM on Wednesdays through Mondays and it is closed on Tuesdays. Please check www.museumofgraffiti.com for special holidays, extended hours and unexpected closings.

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