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“If we want to answer correctly, we have to fall back on the idea of collective catharsis. In every society, in every collectivity, exists-must exist-a channel, an outlet through which the forces accumulated in the form of aggression can be released. This is the purpose of games in children's institutions, of psychodramas in group therapy, and in a more general way, of illustrated magazines for children--each type of society, of course, requiring its own specific kind of catharsis. The Tarzan stories, the sagas of twelve year-old explorers, the adventures of Mickey
Mouse, and all those "comic books" serve actually as a release for collective aggression.” – 
Frantz Fanon

The Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine

The Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine is a project that began when Mildred Beltre and Oasa DuVerney started making art together in each other’s apartments. As they shared stories and experiences while making their work, they wondered if they could bring a similar experience to their other neighbors. So, in the summer of 2010 they co-founded a collaborative public art project that explores art making as a community-building tool. The Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine is a community based, socially engaged project in Crown Heights Brooklyn and has dubbed its members the “Official Unofficial Artists in Residence” of the block. 

Queen Nzinga of Ndongo Descending a Staircase 

This silkscreen print references the 17th century abolitionist and Queen of Angola, Nzinga of Ndongo, with a portrait of Assata Shakur shackled and descending a staircase with a fragile look of defiance. Both Nzinga and Assata were persecuted revolutionary women of their time. Framed, abused and condemned to lives lived in forgotten solitude, they emerged years later self-liberated. Assata is flanked by Bird of Paradise flowers, native to South Africa, to symbolize the diaspora that carried her here and will carry her to her liberation. She is framed by both Dragon’s Mouth and Coral Root orchids, both native to the New York City region of her birth and often mistaken for something that does not belong.

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