Women’s rituals of Vodou and Santeria intrigue Shaina Lynn Simmons. She said black women in New Orleans and Havana have plenty in common. The CalArts Center for New Performance graduate student from New Orleans said she finds the strong cultural resistance during the African diaspora fascinating.
The actress is working on “Afro Futuro,” a collaboration with Cubans that she described as “a photo, video and live performance installation that explores the mythologies and realities of black women and Afro-Cuban women.” Read more here >> Read More
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“Last month a brother tried to ‘holla’ at me by yelling out, “Say dark meat, come here!” I was high off the very black vibes at the Cali HBCU Reunion, bouncing in my #BlackGirlMagic as I strutted across the yard, and feeling myself in all my glory after a much needed day with black people. I moved to Southern California two years ago for grad school and it has been a major culture shock for me. Having grown up in New Orleans and living on the East Coast, I was use to tight knit black communities. L.A. is huge and vastly spread out, which makes it feel extremely isolating for people of color. I live outside of L.A. proper, near the school, and it isn’t very black around here at all. Just imagine my pure excitement when I’m finally able to vibe with black folk. So when this brother yelled, “Say dark meat, come here,” as if it was an alluring catch phrase, I stopped dead in my tracks. He was fine as hell and all, but put some respect on my melanin…”
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Written and directed by Aleshea Harris.
A Ritual in honor
of the inherent value of black life.
What To Send Up When It Goes Down is a play-pageant-ritual-homegoing celebration meant to disrupt, honor, and reclaim. An attempt to honor those lost to racist violence in America, the piece uses language, song and movement as a means of reflecting in order to cleanse and uplift. The goal is cleansing/catharsis through the exercise of viewing and participating in the piece, while also making space for collective emotions following tragedy.
Bayou Blues is a solo performance written and performed by Shaina Lynn Video shot by r0bproductions.com
Nappywood™ is a community empowerment movement of Natural Hair, Wellness, Holistic Lifestyle and Economic Empowerment held in August 2016. Shaina or (I) was styled by Maetae at Sun Goddess Beauty Center II.
AfroFuturo is a photo, video, and live performance installation. It investigates hair as a concept of beauty and the connexions between the historical, mythological, and contemporary realities of Afro Cuban and Afro American women.
AfroFuturo merges three popular black hairstyles with visual abstractions, as an iconic way of re-establishing and reintroducing, not only the approaches to hair, but the ideas behind the looks. Each hairstyle is informed by a different shape and Orisha: the Afro/circle/Yemeja, weave/square/Oshun, and braids/triangle/Oya.
The creative team of all-women from multiple disciplines includes: Beryl Brachman, Costume Design, Tanya Orellana Set Design; Tionna Brunson & Amber Jones Music Producers; Rose Malone Lighting Designer, Elizabeth Geocaris Choreographer; Juliana Lujan Photographer; and Lydia Hicks, Videographer.
Raz is back in town and Marcus attempts to keep his ex girlfriend from leaving home again. (Click on image below for the Vime video)
“A new star has been discovered, one whose light is only beginning to gain recognition.” – CultureBlaze
Bayou Blues dives deep into the consciousness of a black girl’s pursuit to find air amidst the drowning waves of colorism in New Orleans. Shaina Lynn takes the audience through the alluring culture of Mardi Gras, Bounce music and second line parades to shine light on the city’s dark history of internalized racism. With spoken word, song, dance and rap she shares her story, based on true-life experiences. A tale of transformation and healing for all, Lynn’s powerful one-woman show questions the current impact of colonialism and race on communities of color.