The word “black” has been colonized

Deprived of its original beauty, potential, and very existence, the word “black” has been crafted and molded to fit the assumptions so eagerly manufactured by society. As a result, many black individuals throughout history have worked to reclaim the term by actively going against the deep-rooted, hegemonic mindset by way of embracing who they are as a black individual in its most purest definition. VA artist, Mahari Chabwera vigorously contributes in this journey towards reclamation that is as evergreen as time itself.

Working within a black feminist and cosmology lens, Chabwera takes inspiration from esteemed and pivotal artists and writers like Alice Coltrane, Octavia Butler, Ntozake Shange, Audre Lorde, and Jill Scott to serve as a vessel for all of the black women in the past, present, and future. Chabwera has curated exhibitions at Richmond galleries (e.g., 1708 Gallery – Primordial Emanations, Sediment Gallery – In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, and Iridian Gallery – Evolution of The Sacred Self), been the recipient of the 2019-20 Virginia Musuem of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship and 2020 Visual Arts Center Emerging Artist Award, and currently resides as a member of the CAN Foundation‘s First Patron Initiative program.


Featured image courtesy of Nalan Smartt

See Mahari Chabwera in action as she plays “The Shaman” in Black Spirituals. Tickets are still available for the last two weekends of February!

Posted by:Jasmine Rodriguez

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