Ireashia Monét (https://www.ireashiamonet.com/) is a Chicago-based photographer, multimedia artist, and emerging filmmaker. In their work, Monét uses the camera as a weapon against erasure, silence, and the invisibility of marginalized communities and stories. They combine participatory media making, auto-ethnography, and collaborative co-authorship as methods of excavation and exploration of black queer narratives.
Join us on April 13 6-8pm at Build Coffee for the opening night of “The Pearls My Mother Gave Me,” Monét’s ongoing exploration of intergenerational trauma, the residual effects of abuse in the lives of the women in their family, and their personal fight toward radical healing and self-love.
At 6:30 we’ll screen “Grandma’s Wisdom (2016)” and “The Pearls You Gave Me (2018).” Afterward, Monét will hold a public conversation with their grandmother on the series. For the first time, Gwendolyn Bennett (Monét’s grandmother) will speak on her experience working on “Grandma’s Wisdom” and how it has changed how she sees herself as an older black woman, as well as the impact of feeling heard and understood.
“The Pearls My Mother Gave Me” combines photo, video, and audio to create oral and visual documentation of the healing properties of the rural South and Monét’s process of understanding their maternal family history. In doing so, they actively preserve what little they still have to trace the blood memory which binds them to their ancestors. This memory is revealed through spiritual experiences, love, and a fight to survive. The result is a raw and honest body of work that simultaneously celebrates and examines the complexity of motherhood, black queerness, and an intrinsic fight to be free. It will be on display at Build Coffee through June 2018.
Build Coffee is a coffee shop and bookstore in the Experimental Station on the South Side of Chicago. Surrounded by community-driven nonprofits and civic journalism projects, Build is designed as a hub of great coffee and radical collaboration.