Join us on Kenyon’s Peirce Lawn at Abigail DeVille’s Light of Freedom sculpture for a special immersive performance of Imani Uzuri’s communal tonal meditation. (Walking shoes are recommended.) During this intimate gathering, Uzuri will share aspects of her scholarly research, spiritual practice, and creative process in dialogue with Abigail DeVille’s Light of Freedom sculpture, which is currently displayed on the Kenyon campus. This presentation is developed in honor of President Kornfeld’s inauguration and her many contributions to the field of public health. Through Uzuri’s practice, we intend to explore modes of care and alternative healing practices led by artists and scholars.
Imani Uzuri is an award-winning composer, vocalist, and experimental ethnographer. Uzuri, raised in rural North Carolina, celebrates the role of music, sound, and voices as a creative and healing practice within her southern African American culture. Uzuri composed and performed the provocative multilayered vocal score for visual artist Dawoud Bey's three-channel film installation Evergreen (filmed at the historical site of the Evergreen Plantation in Louisiana and exhibited at The Gund this past Spring-Summer 2023).
Uzuri recently received her Master of Arts from Columbia University in African American studies, researching the liturgy, performativity, and "subversive salvation" of New Orleans-based street preacher, visual artist, musician, and mystic Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900–1980). She has written essays for The Feminist Wire and Ebony, and her work is currently included in the anthology BAX 2016: Best American Experimental Writing. Uzuri is the founder and artistic director of Revolutionary Choir—a community singing gathering formed to teach historical and new protest/freedom songs of resistance and resilience.