20121105084101-tea_time_by_tate

My First Artistic Journey to The Dominican Republic

A week-long intellectual conference / retreat on Black Feminism in the Dominican Republic. Will you help me get there?

100% Funded! No wait...106% Funded

Are you serious!!!!????!!! Seriously??!!!!!

And wait...indiegogo has the campaign now on their home page?

I am floored!  All of you made this possible!  11 days remaining and this baby, this hope to get to DR for this conference...you did this!  All of you made this possible!  You got the word out, you donated what you could, you gave big and small and ya'll did this! 

Thanks to all of you who have contributed, passed it on to folks, sent encouragement via FB, phone, email and in prayer.  Ya'll are hella dope! 

On the topic of perks, I’m steady at work with the necklaces, finshed the juju mini chapbooks packs, will soon be gearing up for creating the sound and video pieces, but the chapbooks classics are gonna take some additional spending to produce.

What do I need? Roughly $150. The 9% indiegogo fee takes a portion of the monies raised and I forgot to factor that in.  So coming in a shy over $150 AND the projected goal would balance everything out.

This cost includes making two-side copies of 2, 5, 6, and 10 page chapbooks, cardstock for the covers plus printing the covers. This will also cover the cost of mailing envelops. It may also cover the cab fare to and from the airport in NYC and the Dominican Republic if I raise more than that!

11 days left, big or small, if I can make up some of the cost of materials, wonderful.  If I cannot, that does not stop the factory. Perks will be sent out regardless.  Just remember, the necklaces take a little longer than a zerox machine. 

Thank you everyone for getting me to this point.  I just sent the conference organizer the good news!

I'm going to the Transnational Black Feminist Conference in the Dominican Republic!  Thank you! Virtual hugs! Love to all. LaT

 

¿Que Eso?

Howdy, my name is LaTasha Diggs. I am a poet, a vocalist, a video artist, and an independent artistic director/curator.  I have been invited to participate in a weeklong, grassroots political/intellectual conference on Black Feminism in the Dominican Republic from March 10 - 17, 2013. An incredible group of people - artists, activists and scholars will all gather for dialogue, engagement, and reflection. Not only will it allow me the rare opportunity to meet with organizations like Mujeres de Descendencia Haitiana, Instituto Sociales de las Antillas, and Ile Iya Abbebe Oshun, it will help me continue developing a project I began in 2007 on women of African/Indigenous descent. I’ve launched this campaign to raise 2,023 dollars so I can attend this conference in the Dominican Republic and I cannot do it without you

 

I now have 15 days to raise the registration fee and book my plane ticket.

Your support is needed to help make this journey a reality!

Will you donate what you can and help me get there?

 

So a little more about this new journey

 

From the Transnational Black Feminist invitation letter:

     “The purpose of the retreat is to ask the question: what does it mean to conceptualize and enact a transnational black feminist praxis?  As part of the retreat, we will visit with local organizations and with local groups of black women and black feminist activists, artists and scholars to hold conversations about this question. In addition to being part of conversations with folks here, we will have a day to retreat and to reflect, process and develop work from our experiences.  We will then have the opportunity to share our insights/analyses with a larger audience at a one-day conference, to be held at INTEC-Center for Women and Gender Studies. As part of participating in the Retreat, we would collectively form a presentation shaped by our conversations and experiences from the week.  The idea is to assess the current dynamics of the playing field while also fostering intentional and deep conversation about black feminist praxis in and between the Global South and the Global North.”

 

¿el impacto?

I really cannot express how badly I want to attend this gathering. With this call I have the chance to reach out and expand my awareness of the African Diaspora in the Dominican Republic. I have an opportunity to work with other women whose work shares some commonality to my own. It will help me focus on the larger themes present in my project Un Momento; gender, race, identity, history, landscape.  Participating at the Black Feminism Retreat/Conference could also lead to additional engagements and creative collaborations. Above all, I desperately need to attend this conference. I want to be shaped by what I will learn in discussion with those invited. I want it to shape my project and my creative process in ways I can only imagine. I want to become a stronger woman, artist, and organizer. I simply don’t want to miss out on something that could help my understanding of feminist studies in the Americas.

 

lo que necesito & lo que usted conseguirá

My campaign goal is $2023 and here’s what I am hoping this campaign will cover a portion of:

  • 580.00 Registration Fee
  • 710.00 Airfare plus Travel Insurance and visa (this is Spring Break Week so airfare prices may change if I don't book soon)
  • 200.00 Food outside of the conference/retreat
  • 200.00 Incidental expenses
  • 200.00 Super Emergency
  • 143.00 Goes towards insuring that perks are shipped in a timely manner.

This would cover airfare and baggage fees from New York to Dominican Republic, breakfast (Lunch and Dinner are included in the registration fee), additional ground transportation, incidental /emergency expenses, and making sure all swag is sent to you without much delay.

 

Before the journey

In July of 2010, I traveled to Peru to do research for a series of poems, songs, and meditations entitled “Un Momentu.”  The project’s central figure is Micaela Bastidas, the revolutionary martyr and wife of rebel leader Tupac Amaru.  During my research, I have discovered a handful of documents that describe Bastidas as being of African and Andean mixture. This is what initially sparked my curiosity and how I came to spend six weeks traveling to various parts of Peru. The project looks at ethnic identity during Colonial Peru, the relationships between Africans, Free Blacks and Andeans. It takes into question, what life was for Bastidas as an Afro-Peruana and if she “passed” given the time. In this portion of the work, I am examining the imagined and the factual. The project also looks at identity within contemporary visual arts and how it is capitalized upon or not in the art world.


My six weeks in Peru was life changing and left me with a lot of material and the desire to return to continue my research so that I may tell Micaela’s story and that of the women of Peru who talked to me in the streets in Lima, in small local restaurants in Cuzco, in their homes in EL Carmen and Arequipa, and on a boat upon Lake Titicaca.  But while the date to return to Peru is pending, I now have once in a lifetime occasion to learn about women and the role of black feminism in the Dominican Republic.

¿por que?

You may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Peru?   This event, the first of its kind in Dominican Republic will be held this year from March 10 to March 17.  It invites a small group of women from Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. I cannot explain how much I am honored to be one of the women invited.  I cannot explain how much this is a historical undertaking.  While the organizers cannot pay my airfare or provide a per diem, the registration fee (dirt cheap) covers all lodging, meals (lunch and dinner), ground transportation to and from workshops, talks, historical tours AND a translator.  This is not something to be taken for granted.  They understand the importance of making connections and not wanting the interference of US funding mechanisms.  They know that the women invited represent of range of artists, scholars, activists, and writers who in and outside of the academic field.  This is a grassroots effort.

 

comida buena y cariño

If you know me, I love creating artifacts/gifts/tokens that both represent my gratitude and desire to make folks warm and fuzzy.  Anything from cupcakes to flan to lemon tarts to posters.  For your contribution you’ll receive:

 

  • Postcards from the Dominican Republic (I will write you personally a little note about my week there),
  • Limited edition reprints of chapbooks published between 1996 and 2011
  • One of a kind, handmade single strand beaded necklaces (made with a combination of glass, seed and metal beads, and bone...no two are alike!)
  • A once in a lifetime music track (only three will be offered) created just for YOU!
  • If you’re a lover of words and moving image, a 3-minute text-video piece especially made for YOU (Limit 2). If you’re curious about the videos I've created in the past for performances at MoMA PS1 and Brooklyn Museum, you can check them out HERE

 

As a curator and artistic director, I’ve co-presented many events in New York City, largely focused on poetry and music. I’ve been very fortunate to co-present these events at venues like El Museo del Barrio, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Bowery Poetry Club, the Schomburg Center for Black Culture and BAM Cafe.  One of the most rewarding things about the events, concerts, and readings I’ve presented is highlighting women artists, musicians, poets — young and old — in life and in craft. I find this kind of work is part of my role as a woman artist.  While I work hard to improve my own creative work, I must, when given the opportunity, support other women.  I also enjoy giving younger women the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of producing a show. For me, it’s just as important to know how to produce an event as it is to be a seasoned artist.  In the end, it makes me feel pretty darn good to see other women artists succeed, to be introduced to different audiences, to be given a chance. 

 

¿no dinero? ok you're broke

I understand that many folks simply don't have the funds and won't be able to contribute, that it's a seriously bad time and may want to help in other ways. One way you can is by getting the word out and channeling that wonderful shampoo commercial of the past.   Please share with folks you know who may share the same interests I have.  Share it with folks who just like supporting artists and their ventures.  Write a note to someone about my project. 

 

So there it is in a nutshell.  By helping me attend this conference in the Dominican Republic, you’re becoming a supporter, a benefactor, a long lost auntie, uncle, cousin, older sibling who believes in my work and its role in the larger conversation surrounding women in the arts.   Thank you all for checking out my campaign and I sincerely hope I’ll be able to bless your mailbox with goodies of thanks. 

Blessings.  LaTasha Diggs


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