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I make work that attempts to liberate the body beyond the confines that society has prescribed to it. I am interested in the manifestations of the internal human; illuminating the internal voice that is often silenced, persuaded, and deemed as illegitimate, despite the fact that it might be the most true. As a mixed Afro Latina woman, my own identity and existence as a visible body is constantly at the mercy of those who I surround myself with, where my external ambiguity falls a victim to constant mislabeling. As a result, the fluidity of my appearance in racial contexts complicates the ways in which my body can exist on stage and in performance. How I identify internally, most often is not legible externally, heightening my experience of a state of invisibility that has become normalized for many black Americans and marginalized groups today.
Citing jazz art as a primary influence to my work, the question for me becomes, as a black performer, how does my body as a performative spectacle, escape a misunderstanding without being silenced, erased, objectified, or commoditized in predominantly white spaces? I am curious about the invisibilities that are exposed, shared, and suppressed within jazz (in its multiple mediums) and its relationality to its own cultural evolution and understanding. I am interested in exploring how black dancing bodies can find liberation in a performative setting, while defying being spectacled or archetypically defined in a way that has become absurdly normalized in our society. My work is driven by a desire to be seen beyond the limitations of history, stereotypes, and assumptions that society has instilled in all of our minds, where the ultimate power lies in the performer being able to choose their own narrative.
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Gaskins, Roobi Starla, "Black w(H)ole Theories" (2019). Senior Projects Spring 2019. 290.
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