The Most Genius Geniuses
Well, I guess that's just my opinion but...
The list of the MacArthur "Genius" Awards was just released. And I've got opinions. But, first, what is this award anyway? It's a grant given to a handful of artists, historians, thinkers, and activists by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation every year. Here's the gist:
This year, they picked some GOOD ones, 24 to be exact (full list here). I wanted to share 4 of my faves, some of whom you already KNOW about if you've been following Stay Cool, Mom.
Ok, In no particular order...
DAWOUD BEY, aka "the original Bey"
Photographer, teacher, Chicago guy, artist behind one of my favorite projects, "Class Pictures" (I blogged about them here)
GOALS: "Finding a way to bring the human community into a conversation with itself." (from Chicago Tribune video interview)
Another Chicago guy, activist, founder of Inner-City Muslim Action Network.
GOALS: Bringing healthy food to low-income communities, providing job training and housing accessibility for individuals returning to the city from prison, the list goes on.
Here's President Obama (yes, more him, total genius BTW) talking about Nashashibi at his final National Prayer Breakfast. (It doesn't describe his work that much, but... it's a good story).
Painter and multi-media artist whose works highlight issues surrounding immigration and globalization (I blogged a little about her here)
Her multi-media work incorporates photo transfer, various printmaking techniques, Much of her collaged imagery comes from Nigerian magazines or photos she's taken in Nigeria, her birthplace.
GOALS: Challenging stereotypes of what it means to be African, sharing scenes from everyday life in Nigeria, generating dialogue about immigration and globalization.
GOALS: Sharing the landscape and culture of her home state of Mississippi, exposing how the South's racist history affects the present, more in this Seth Meyer's interview...
She just edited a collection of writing called The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race. It's an homage to James Baldwin and features writings by Edwidge Danticat, Claudia Rankine, and other greats. Gotta snag it.
I'm so happy for these geniuses.
P.S. Don't you think they've worked hard enough already? I hope one of them blows the $625, 000 on something awesome, like the crazy secret Wu-Tang album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, or an average-sized home in Chicago.
Oh, by the way, the Nobel Prizes were awarded this week too. In case you're not sick of smart people yet, here's the link to the winners.
Cover photo is of my husband and son looking at a photo by Dawoud Bey at the Museum of Contemporary, in Chicago.