COVID-19 has been tough. The world has been forced to shut down and to prioritize our communities' safety and well-being. Throughout this lockdown, the human spirit has triumphed. Essential workers embraced new safety regulations, individuals isolated at home learning new hobbies and skills, and companies transitioned to operating in a new economy. This experience has reminded us all, that we are resilient. There is power in conquering adversity. We saw that “strength doesn’t come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the obstacles you once thought you couldn’t” (Rikki Rogers).
Curaty will share our favorite works of art that encapsulate resilience.
1. Sill I rise Maya Aneglou
When thinking about resilience, the first thing that comes to mind is Maya Aneglou’s poem “Still I rise”. Her empowering words and rhetorical questions ignite passion and strength in her audience.
Still I rise Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the dirt
But still, like dust, I rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes, springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes.
You may kill me with your fatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave,
I rise...I rise...I rise.
2. Micah Bazant
Micah Bazant is a transgender artist who focuses on the rights of black trangender women and the difficulties they still face everyday. His work sparks joy and empowers his audience by taking a celebratory approach.
Micah Bazant- click here
3. Kara Walker
Walker initially had difficulty discussing race in her art even though it had such a presence in her life. Moving from California to Georgia in 1969, she was exposed to the harsh influence of the Klu Klux Klan and intense racism of the south. During her MFA at RISD, she included race in her work and race transformed into the main theme of her work.
Kara Walker- Grub for Sharks: A Concession to the Negro Populace
4. Keith Haring
A strong lgbtq+ advocate, Keith Haring, utilized bright and happy colors to discuss the AIDS crisis and to expose the lack of government support. His art personifies the positive and resilient spirit of the lgbtq+ community.
Keith Haring- Untitled (World)
5. Anju Dodiya
Anju Dodiya’s work embodies the strength it takes to question one’s identity. Her work has an autobiographical touch and reflects on herself and her external place in this world. The figures she often portrays are andrognous and question gender norms and her sense of self. Her work has a touch of self discovery and surrealism. She feels “the creative process is violent”.
Anju Dodiya- Heartbeat 2019
Anju Dodiya- Excavation
What does resilience mean to you? Who are your favorite resilient artists?
Share your thoughts with us.