As the world bites back old habits, Black bodies are lynched in the streets and trauma is unearthed. As those of us who have been banished to the shadows; reincarnate and as those who have been asleep slowly awaken, we unveil our capacity for the unknown. We have been given the ability to choose how we will begin again.
Vision and Strategy
Colonialism is a persistent product of white supremacy, laced with boobytrapes and funded to feed on the disenfranchised. A concept constructed to invade our collective consciousness to viciously indulge in a singular false narrative. These steps to creative metamorphosis were made for Black creatives to begin to separate ourselves from colonial mentality.
This guide is here to recenter the narrative toward the Black creative mind, body and soul. As artists, spirit has given us a gift. We have the choice to enhance our protest for resilience and return reverence. In the collective the collective vulnerability of presence, we learn not to be afraid.
In 1997, a year before I was delivered earth-side, Alice Walker declared in her writings of Anything We Love Can Be Saved “What is happening in the world more and more is that people are attempting to decolonize their spirits. A crucial act of empowerment, one that might return reverence to the Earth, thereby saving it, in this fearful-of-nature, spiritually colonized age.”
In my commitment to un-conditioning myself as a Black creative, I have mapped out the concepts we can utilize in beginning to separate ourselves from systematic structures of oppressive violence. I hope we choose to enter into tomorrow with a deep- seeded knowing we must stretch the parameters and let our art lead us into newfound freedom.
Decolonial Creative Metamorphisis
- Locate Spirit
Creating is a tangible expression of our ancestral DNA. Spirit holds us accountable to the truth. Spirit humbles us, empowers us to find the truth, and we must be truthful. Spirit comes to us in moments of utter silence and in moments of immense chaos. The presence of spirit arises profoundly when we are focused on the element of being, and not performing.
2. Redefine Productivity
We are not machines. We are complex anomalies. The art we create comes from an individual human being or a collective consciousness, spanning bloodlines and continents. Existing as Black people is enough, anything we produce beyond that is simply a bonus. When we allow ourselves to just be, and release the instinct to perform, we create art more authentic to the human spirit.
3. Release Ownership
Releasing yourself from the need to place ownership on your creations. We are simply the vessel for our creations to channel through. Once that is done, they exist as their own entities. They are no longer under our control, demand or order. Our creations have the agency and autonomy to shapeshift and render themselves independent as the curator of its own freedom. They will inherently live on as inheritance in our collective memory.
4. Preserve Personhood
We are entitled to safety. We are entitled to privacy. We are entitled to moving at our own pace. Take a step back. Kiss your children on the forehead. Call your mama. Walk outside barefoot. Ask someone you love to rub shea butter up and down your spine. Be gentle. Our preservation is proof of our power. How we exercise that preservation determines how we show up earnestly to our artforms.
“I believe people exist to be enjoyed, much as a restful or engaging view might be. When I am in the presence of other human beings I want to revel in their creative and intellectual fullness, their uninhibited social warmth. I want their precious radiance to wrap me in light. I do not want fear of war or starvation or bodily mutilation to steal both my pleasure in them and their own birthright. Everything I would like other people to be for me, I want to be for them”. (Walker, Anything We Love Can Be Saved)
About the Author: Diaz is a creative, entrepreneur and curator of The Diaz Collections. Her work explores cultural agency through healing vessels and archival documentations of multigenerational Black womxn narratives.