In 2015, Gallery of the Streets premiered ECOHYBRIDITY: LOVE SONG FOR NOLA in collaboration with locally-based New Orleans artists, scholars, and activists. This multi-genre visual opera to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, resulted in 5 publically-sited installations and performances that addressed issues ranging from gentrification to the prison industrial complex. ECOHYBRIDITY demonstrated models of resistance including direct action, cultural traditions and rituals, sustainable living practices and experiential spaces as sites of radical imagination.
Ecohybridity \ek-oh-HI-brid-i-tee\: (n)
1) A transition from one phase into another; a reconfiguration and rearrangement of multiple ecosystems.
2) A place we find and make Home; an attempt at Black creative wordplay and swagger.
Given the cyclical patterns of Black dislocation/border-crossing, the Black Body-queer in its relationship to structural oppression, must constantly reimagine and shift its identity to navigate new challenges and new environments. We perform rituals of resiliency and sustainability often using masking as a tool and tactic of subversion to reduce, resist, and prevent harm. The ways in which we negotiate new environments and traverse cultural, economic, and geographic borders produces an elasticity that allows us to conjure and carry our traditions, history, and values across multiple geographies and generations.
From the slave castles to the plantations; fields to factories; refugee camps to tent cities; dormitories to cells; slums to suburbs; the corner to the boardroom — our response to displacement shapes our self-perception and effects the cultures of those a round us. In this sense we form new ecologies that are a hybridization of multiple influences and cultures. I call this elasticity ecohybridity.