- Communications Coordinator
ATLANTA - This year at Emory University, The David Goldwasser Series in Religion and Arts funds four projects that each explore the relationship between religion and the creative arts. Established in 1980 in memory of David Goldwasser (32C), this innovative endowment supports Goldwasser’s belief in art and faith as enriching dimensions of the human spirit.
The 2019-2020 Goldwasser series begins with “Zong!: The (k)Notted Web of Silence” on December 6, 2019. On this night, as part of the Archival Lives Conference, Guggenheim Fellow and poet NourbeSe Philip reads from her acclaimed poetry collection “Zong!”, a memorialization of the more than 130 African captives thrown overboard from the ship Zong in 1781 as a callous, cost-saving measure. At the very center of Philip‘s work is an exploration of the role of the arts in historical and spiritual recuperation. Philip will be introduced by Michelle Wright, Longstreet Professor of English.
“NourbeSe Philip is an ideal interlocutor at a conference on the archives of slavery,” says Adriana Chira, Emory history professor and orchestrator of Philip’s visit. “Philip’s writing in this collection fashions a language that exposes the silencing of Black voices and pain in the official-bureaucratic documentation of the case. Her strategies push us, as historians, to carefully ponder over whose stories of the past are preserved and told, and what stories have been forever lost and why.”
In January, the Michael C. Carlos Museum presents the exhibition “Transcendent Deities of India: The Everyday Occurrence of the Divine,” showcasing the work of modern and contemporary artists who have reimagined the classical Hindu pantheon, including painter and graphic novelist, Abhishek Singh.
Singh will be in residence at the Carlos Museum January 16 – 28, 2020, with support from the Goldwasser Fund. During his residency, Supported by the Goldwasser Fund, Singh engages the Emory and Atlanta community by completing a large-scale painting of a deity. The live painting begins in Emory’s new Student Life Center and then moves around the city, stopping at the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Ponce City Market, and other locations.
Elizabeth Hornor, Carlos Museum director of education, says, “Having such a young and engaging artist on campus and in the community, and having a work created during that time remain as part of the exhibition throughout the semester, presents a unique and important opportunity for engaging with the long arc of art and religion in our present moment.”
On January 25, as part of the Brave New Works playwriting festival, Theater Emory presents a reading of “For Peace I Rise”; book and lyrics by Thomas W. Jones II, composition by William Knowles and S. Renee Clarke. “For Peace I Rise” is the musical love story of American Civil Rights Movement activists C. T. Vivian and Octavia Geans Vivian. The musical tells the story of two young freedom riders bound together by more than a shared commitment to the principles of non-violent protest and a deep faith in God. This presentation is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with the Office of the Provost.
Later in the Spring semester, the Stuart A. Rose Library welcomes Atlanta based artist and activist Charmaine Minniefield for a yearlong residency. Minniefield’s project, “Remembrance as Resistance: Digitally Mapping the Ring Shout,” leverages technology, historical research, memory, movement, sound, and space to recognize the recently discovered unmarked graves in the African American Grounds of Atlanta’s Oakland cemetery.
“The Ring Shout Project is a visual installation with music and movement as its core,” explains Pellom McDaniels III, African American Collections curator for the Emory Rose Library. “The Ring Shout itself is a dance of rhythmic movement driven by the call-and-response hymnal verses.”
Minniefield’s residency culminates in a site-specific installation that engages the Emory and Atlanta communities in an examination of place and space as central to identity formation through the traditional African American worship and gathering practice of the Ring Shout. Date and time for this event are to be determined.
The David Goldwasser Series in Religion and Arts supports the exploration between religion and the creative arts. For more information on this series, visit arts.emory.edu, or call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050. Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made at least 24 hours in advance of the event to the box office at 404-727-5050 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.