Please join us for a virtual salon with writer Kiese Laymon and artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji. EVENT DATE – October 7, 2021 1:00PM CST
This is the third event in Wit(h)ness: A CAAPP Black Study in Intimacy.
Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the author of the genre-bending novel, Long Division and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. Laymon is at work on several new projects, including the long poem, Good God, the horror comedy, And So On, the children’s book, City Summer, Country Summer and the film Heavy: An American Memoir. He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program aimed at getting Mississippi kids and their parents more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing.
Wura-Natasha Ogunji is a visual artist and performer. Her works include drawings hand-stitched into tracing paper, videos and public performances. Her work is deeply inspired by the daily interactions and frequencies that occur in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, from the epic to the intimate. Ogunji’s performances explore the presence of women in public space; these often include investigations of labor, leisure, freedom and frivolity. Recent exhibitions include the pleasurable, the illegible, the multiple, the mundane at Artspace, Sydney; Alpha Crucis at Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; and A stranger’s soul is a deep well at Fridman Gallery, New York. She was an Artist-Curator for the 33rd São Paulo Bienal where her large-scale performance Days of Being Free premiered. She has also exhibited at: Museum of Modern Art Paris; the Lagos Biennial; Kochi-Muziris Biennale; 1:54, London & New York; Seattle Art Museum; Brooklyn Art Museum; and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Ogunji is a recipient of the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and has received grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Dallas Museum of Art; and the Idea Fund. She has a BA from Stanford University [1992, Anthropology] and an MFA from San Jose State University [1998, Photography]. She currently resides in Lagos where she is founder of the experimental art space The Treehouse.
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