"Slow Dirt"


Five Myles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

"Slow Dirt" commemorated my mother, Maigenet Shifferraw, an Ethiopian women's rights advocate who passed away in February of 2016. Three months after her death I created a performance at Five Myles Gallery in Brooklyn, NY for the #BlackGirlLit exhibition, where I dug through an installation made of sand and rocks to find buried photographs of my late mother and buried pages from her unfinished manuscript. I then read passages that she wrote about her activism work from the 1970's until her death, including detailed accounts of political and social struggles Ethiopian women face in their native country and abroad. The performance echoed a performance I did the year before at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, titled "Ancestral Honoring."

Below is an excerpt from the #BlackGirlLit documentary, which discusses the making of the performance. The documentary was screened at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, NY in January as part of the Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair.

Photo documentation by Terrence C. Jennings and Tiph Browne. Video documentation by Nana Yaw Yeboah.