GALLERY OF THE STREETS is an evolving network of artists, activists, organizers, scholars, cultural workers, and community supporters formed around ideas of “engaging everyday spaces as sites of resistance.” We aim to examine the radical possibilities within what Katherine McKittrick and Clyde Woods call, “black geographies and the politics of place.”
Our signature program, Visual Opera, fuses public art and social change organizing to generate new ideas, reconfigure the familiar, and resist the oppression of existing conditions. Using Black Feminist Theory as a point of departure, our approach includes convenings, education, and experiential engagement. We use critical dialogue, group and individual accountability, improvisation, and evaluation to create temporary site-specific installations in everyday public and private locations.
Gallery of the Streets exists at the intersections of art, education, geography, history, activism, and movement-building. Our social practice installations and performances are rooted in community collaboration and democratic processes. Communities who are directly impacted by policies and practices of structural oppression work together to conceptualize and produce visual opera projects that interweave painting, sculpture, found objects, sound, movement, ritual and narrative.
artistic director, kai lumumba barrow
Since the late 1970s, Kai is an inspirational figure in abolitionist grassroots organizing in the United States: she is one of the founders of Critical Resistance, a prison industrial complex-abolitionist organization. She has played a leadership role in groups such as the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika; the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; the Black Panther Newspaper Committee; FIERCE! INCITE! UBUNTU; SONG, and Queers for Economic Justice (to name but a few). In 2010 kai formed Gallery Of The Streets. kai’s work fuses public art and organizing for social change to reconfigure the familiar and generate new ideas against the oppression of existing conditions.
tech & documentation, jazz franklin
Documenting for public TV, non-profits, social movement organizations, and herself, jazz sees the relationship between the filmmaker, the subject, and the viewer to be complex and fragile. She aspires to evaluate the power dynamics and contradictions within the production, storytelling (editing), and objective truth of documentary film/video. jazz is currently the lead documentarian with Gallery of the Streets, capturing the process and progress of the network’s cultural organizing praxis.