Jan 14th 2018

Black In Front Of My Ears: On Blackness and My Dominican consciousness
Eclipsing Workshop with Joelle Mercedes

In this workshop I will conduct a lecture sharing my research on the Dominican Republic, specifically on the DR’s cultural and racial identity. The lecture will weave together personal and historical narratives and events to highlight the nuances, inconsistencies and contradictions within the consciousness of The Dominican Republic and its people’s understanding of their Blackness. I will mostly unpack the critical ethnographic text Black Behind The Ears written by Ginetta E.B Candelario, which focuses on understanding race and ethnicity in the Dominican Republic through a “Triangular geography of Knowledge”;The Dominican Republic itself as a site, The Dominican Diaspora and the influences of identity politics in the United States and other parts of the Americas, as well as, The Haitian Revolution.

The goal is to expose silent and mis-documented histories, illustrating the difficulties and importance of free will, independent thought, and curiosity within a highly nationalistic country; celebrating self making and the advantages of reframing origins. I believe this lecture will give some of the foundational background to my performance in the Eclipsing festival in February.

–Joelle Mercedes

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Illinois Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.

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