Exhibit Opening: The Politicization and Sexualization of Black Bodies

Paintings by Gemynii

Exhibit to Feature Counternarratives of NC State Students, Staff and Faculty

Counternarratives are representations of the human experience from minoritized people that bring sight, examination and critical reflection to their perspectives, which are often missing and/or underrepresented within the dominant discourse. At and within predominantly White institutions, these counterstories are important for the humanization of folx who are pushed to the margins based on one or multiple minoritized and/or othered identities. Blackness is one such of those identities.

Paintings by Gemynii
Art by Gemynii, photos above and top.

The Politicization and Sexualization of Black Bodies exhibit is a living counternarrative that speaks to how Black bodies exist within a highly politicized and sexualized world. As a counternarrative, the exhibit refutes the dominant discourse about what it means to be Black and exist within institutions not historically designed with Black folx in mind. The exhibit features the written, oral and visual representations of your peers, your colleagues, your friends and perhaps even your loved ones, who experience their racial, gendered, sexual, classed, dis/abled and religious/spiritual identities, among others simultaneously, at the margins of institutions historically designed to operate from a standpoint of mental, physical and emotional violence. Through this exhibit, students, staff and faculty tell their stories, reveal their pain and celebrate every step toward liberation.

The exhibit calls attention to humanity. It puts you in direct conversation with yourself and others by being exposed to experiences and perspectives that differ from the traditional discourse about the condition of Blacks, African Americans and Africans in America, in your Wolfpack.

The exhibit opens on February 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the African American Cultural Center Gallery on the second floor of Witherspoon Student Center. The evening will begin in the African American Cultural Center (Witherspoon Student Center, Room 356) with opening greetings from the curator, a reflection from Women’s Center student leader Zakiya Covington and a keynote address from “Mama” Toni Thorpe. Throughout the evening, participants can tell their own stories with WolfTales. Evening snacks will be provided and pre-registration is required. The opening reception is open to NC State and the surrounding community at no charge.

The exhibit is curated by the NC State Women’s Center in partnership with the African American Cultural Center and the assistance of Durham-based artist Gemynii. The exhibition will be open to the public in the African American Cultural Center Gallery through March 21, 2019 during the open hours of the African American Cultural Center.

If faculty/staff/departments are interested in hosting a class and/or discussion in the gallery, please reach out to the Women’s Center at womens-center@ncsu.edu for scheduling and guidance if needed.

Angela Gay is assistant director of the Women’s Center.