by Erin

"Cotton" is an ongoing multi-media performance conceived and performed by artist and HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? member Monstah Black. In the words of the artist:

“Cotton” uses moving images, and songs to shape an abstract multi-media performance. It highlights struggle, imbalance, miscommunication, misunderstanding, privilege, supremacy, labels and how they continue to play a part in societal structure. 

Cotton displays a sense of bondage of the heart, mind, body, soul as well as bondage of the voice of the individual. It suggests the possibility of using your wildest dreams to create and ascend from the detriment of the past. 

Cotton vocalizes, moves through and wears that detriment. It uses detriment as empowerment to honor "black" ancestry in America. Cotton opens...

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HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? | The Illustrious Blacks Feb 3, 2015

by Erin

HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? members Monstah Black and Manchildblack make up the glorious DJ/performance duo The Illustrious Blacks. Learn more about them and their inspirations at their tumblr:
or youtube channel

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HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? | About artist Monstah Black Feb 3, 2015

by Erin

Monstah Black is a multi-dimensional performing artist  known for his stage performances that blur the lines of genre and gender. Born and raised in historical Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, Monstah was exposed at birth to not only the pulpit rocking sounds of the southern Baptist Church and the classical sounds of Roman Catholic Church but also Soul, Rock, Funk and Disco. He fuses his love for music, movement, fashion and visual art in his funk drenched musical creations.

Monstah has performed in numerous venues including Art Basel, Miami, The Whitney Annual Gala, New York, Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC, Performa Biennial, New York, Joe’s Pub, New York, Dance New Amsterdam, New York, New York Live Arts, Movement Research, New York, Dixon Place, New York, Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, New York, New...

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HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? | About artist Manchildblack Feb 3, 2015

by Erin

"As he searches for his own promised land, Manchildblack might be on the road to delivering us all." - Jason King (NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music).

The name Manchild may conjure up memories of Claude Brown's searing novel, Manchild in the Promised Land, but it has quite a different history for the man himself. "I was born Derek Gentry," Manchild confesses "but a Rastaman I knew during my time in D.C. would call me 'Manchild.' He never explained why, but when I started to become a musical artist I decided the name fit who I was and epitomized what I was singing about. Although the name (all one word) has no immediate relationship to Claude Brown's book, the similarities are there. The classic 1965 novel offered truthful evidence of what it meant to survive as a black man in a complex, troubling society. In the same vein, many of Manchildblack's...

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Say Africa; Africa, Africa Feb 3, 2015

by Yonnas T Getahun

Of God.
Of mercy.

Of the calling
and called.
The veiled
and the blessed.

Of you,
the continuing perfection,
the servant.

The passing
of the pages
that burned
of the cities
that burned
of the lovers God sent.

Line of soldiers
trying to forget
etches of history.
Say Africa: Africa, Africa.

Say millions drowned
their feet shaking
our silence.
Africa, Africa...
Of malady.
Of malice.
Of melody,
of prayer.

A homeless moon
orbiting its haloed dissent.


This poem is from an upcoming release of 'i Hung myself on the moon.' A book of poetry by Yonnas T Getahun

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Cineastas Review Feb 2, 2015

by Hanako O'Leary

I went to see Cineastas because I wanted to get away from the Superbowl. It sounded like the opposite of a Superbowl party. A foreign performance about the creative process presented in a theater known for showing experimental performance art.  

Or I can go to some party and watch TV eating 7 layer bean dip....  I'll take the play. (Nothing against bean dip, I love bean dip.)

What I was expecting was some dry play about life, and art and what it all means or perhaps it all means nothing... Something deep and quiet and dreary. But in fact the experience was much more colorful. It was a whirlwind of plot lines and characters. Played out one after the other with a handful of actors each playing three or more parts, the play was in Argentinian Spanish with very few English subtitles. The actors switched parts right before my eyes with no costume or set changes. Although I couldn't understand what they were talking about for most of it, the exaggerated, overly...

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Mariano Pensotti's Cineastas Feb 2, 2015

by Kenzie Rose

To what extent does art influence real life, and real life influence art? This is the question the audience consider during Cineastas, On the Board’s most recent installment. A two-tiered stage, stocked with the artifacts of both daily life and cinematic endeavor, serves to frame the dramas of four Argentinian filmmakers struggling to reconcile fiction with reality, and, likewise, reality with fiction.  

As evidenced in Cineastas, the relationship between the creator and his or her art is dynamic, fluid, symbiotic. As examples: a father grappling with his inevitable demise transforms his film into a testament to his daughter. A McDonald’s employee vents his corporate subjugation into a disturbing thriller. A struggling recipient of unprecedented success struggles to adapt to the mold forced upon her.  An adoptee longing to connect with her parent’s Soviet roots chases un sueño efímero.

“I’m not sure if I liked it,” my girlfriend admitted...

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Step Inside the Camera Obscura: Mariano Pensotti’s Cineastas Feb 1, 2015

by Jay Kuehner

Standing on a typically cobbled San Telmo street corner in Buenos Aires, I unintentionally stumble upon Bar Sur, the milonga eternalized on screen to quite ambient effect by the presence of a careening Ho Po-Wing (Leslie Cheung) in Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together. The sight conjures the film’s score of Astor Piazzolla’s sadly wheezing bandoneons eddying around the tango of two Hong Kong lovers fighting, drinking, smoking, sleeping, breaking up and getting back together, while time flows by like the revolving kitschy souvenir lamp of Iguazu Falls that sits tableside in their exquisitely despoiled hotel flat (somewhere in La Boca). Suddenly, I’m pleasantly embalmed in a ‘filmic’ moment, albeit one that is, essentially, an illusory projection of a Hong Kong filmmaker’s nostalgia for a place he had never seen until shooting but rather intuited through the novels of Manuel Puig and the records of Piazzolla. The street I now inhabit has become a stage, full of...

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