Natasha Marin is a conceptual artist and the curator of Black Imagination: Black Voices on Black Futures, published by McSweeneys.
Natasha Marin is a conceptual artist and the curator of Black Imagination. Courtesy of Natasha Marin

Good morning. It's Monday, July 13, and the COVID-19 numbers are as bad as ever, so we're still keeping these morning messages going—to promote community and connection while we're all trying to staying isolated.

And also to remind ourselves of how many uncategorizably brilliant artists there are in Seattle.

Sponsored
NUDE KITCHEN is Museum of Museum’s weekly figure drawing class.
Interesting models, experienced instructors, Zoom Tuesdays at 7:00.

Take the omni-talented artist and intellectual and activist Nathasha Marin, a creative leader you will never be able to fit into a single category. You may be familiar with Natasha from the project Reparations.me, covered in this feature from 2016 in The Stranger. Or maybe you know her work as an antiracism and digital engagement consultant. Or maybe you have seen the stunning new book Black Imagination: Black Voices on Black Futures, published by McSweeney's earlier this year.

"Our bodies and actions are under external control, but the well-spring of rebellion is our own imagination," Gloria Steinem says about the book. "In Black Imagination, Natasha Marin shows us how to free our imagining — as a first step toward freeing ourselves."

Take it away, Natasha:

Natasha is also a conceptual artist whose people-centered projects have circled the globe since 2012 and have been recognized and acknowledged by Art Forum, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, NBC, Al Jazeera, Vice, PBS, and others.

BLACK IMAGINATION—a series of conceptual exhibitions amplifying, centering, and holding sacred a diverse sample of voices including LGBTQIA+ Black youth, incarcerated Black women, Black folks with disabilities, unsheltered Black folks, and Black children—is her bravest work thus far.

Here's a photo of Natasha in Tanzania, working on this ongoing project, right before the lockdown order.

Natasha in Tanzania a few months ago, working on Black Imagination, a series of conceptual exhibitions.
Natasha in Tanzania a few months ago, working on Black Imagination, a globe-spanning conceptual art project. Courtesy of Natasha Marin

Her viral web-based project, Reparations, engaged a quarter of a million people worldwide.

If you don't already have a copy of the book Black Imagination, go ahead and get it right now. As Rich Smith said in a review in January: "Black Imagination's sense of humor is as deep as its sense of history."

To keep up with Natasha's many projects, you can follow her on Instagram.

Thank you so much, Natasha, for your message this morning, and for everything you are doing to activate our imaginations and create a better future for the planet.

Black transwomen and local Indigenous organizers can always use your support. If you are one such organizer, Natasha asks that you post your donation info, upcoming events, and social media handles in the comments.

Support The Stranger

Good luck, everyone, facing whatever today brings.


* *
Previously in this series:


Kathy Hsiehs message to the city on July 9.
Kathy Hsieh's message to the city on July 9.

Crispin Spaeth is a choreographer and teacher.
Crispin Spaeth's message to the city on July 8.

Tom and Virginia Dziekonski are musicians with the Pacific Northwest Ballet orchestra.
Tom and Virginia Dziekonski's message to the city on July 7.

Pol Rosenthals message to the city on July 6.
Pol Rosenthal's message to the city on July 6.

Betsey Brocks message to the city on July 2.
Betsey Brock's message to the city on July 2.

Shaina Shepherds message to the city on July 1.
Shaina Shepherd's message to the city on July 1.

Rodger Burnett and Joyce Ramees message to the city on June 30.
Rodger Burnett and Joyce Ramee's message to the city on June 30.

Charles Leggetts message to the city June 29.
Charles Leggett's message to the city June 29.

Rachel Guyer-Mafunes message to the city on June 26.
Rachel Guyer-Mafune's message to the city on June 26.

Liz Hayess message to the city on June 24.
Liz Hayes's message to the city on June 24.

Nicholas Bernards message to the city on June 22.
Nicholas Bernard's message to the city on June 22.

Tariqa Waterss message to the city on June 19.
Tariqa Waters's message to the city on June 19.

Bruce Clayton Toms message to the city on June 18.
Bruce Clayton Tom's message to the city on June 18.

Isaac Gutierrezs message to the city on June 17.
Isaac Gutierrez's message to the city on June 17.

Markeith Wileys message to the city on June 16.
Markeith Wiley's message to the city on June 16.

Aleksa Manilas message to the city on June 15.
Aleksa Manila's message to the city on June 15.

Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchells message to the city on June 12.
Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell's message to the city on June 12.

Bret Fetzers message to the city on June 12.
Bret Fetzer's message to the city on June 11.

Kyle OQuins message to the city on June 10.
Kyle O'Quin's message to the city on June 10.

Elisheba Johnsons message to the city on June 9.
Elisheba Johnson's message to the city on June 9.

Michael Jinsoo Lims message to the city on June 8.
Michael Jinsoo Lim's message to the city on June 8.

Brandon Ivies message to the city on June 5.
Brandon Ivie's message to the city on June 5.

Kimya Dawsons message to the city on June 4.
Kimya Dawson's message to the city on June 4.

Jennifer Nelsons message to the city on June 3.
Jennifer Nelson's message to the city on June 3.

Erin Jorgensens message to the city on June 2.
Erin Jorgensen's message to the city on June 2.

Brangien Davis and Daniel Spilss message to the city on June 1.
Brangien Davis and Daniel Spils's message to the city on June 1.

Timothy De Clues message to the city on May 29.
Timothy De Clue's message to the city on May 29.

Elizabeth Aquinos message to the city on May 28.
Elizabeth Aquino's message to the city on May 28.

Christopher Frizzelles message to the city on May 27.
Christopher Frizzelle's message to the city on May 27.

Elby Broschs message to the city on May 26.
Elby Brosch's message to the city on May 26.

Mila Skyys message to the city on May 22.
Mila Skyy's message to the city on May 22.

Michael Lees message to the city on May 21.
Michael Lee's message to the city on May 21.

SassyBlacks message to the city on May 20.
SassyBlack's message to the city on May 20.

Seattle Symphony Horn Sections message to the city on May 19.
Seattle Symphony horn section's message to the city on May 19.

Lori Goldstons message to the city on May 18.
Lori Goldston's message to the city on May 18.

Ibidunni Ojikutus message to the city on May 15.
Ibidunni Ojikutu's message to the city on May 15.

RL Heyers message to the city on May 14.
RL Heyer's message to the city on May 14.

Garth Steins message to the city on May 13.
Garth Stein's message to the city on May 13.

Okanomodés message to the city on May 12.
Okanomodé's message to the city on May 12.

Zoe Scofields message to the city on May 11.
Zoe Scofield's message to the city on May 11.

Aham Oluos message to the city on May 8.
Aham Oluo's message to the city on May 8.

Pete Rushs message to the city on May 7.
Pete Rush's message to the city on May 7.

Trent Moormans message to the city on May 6.
Trent Moorman's message to the city on May 6.

Renée Valencias message to the city on May 5.
Renée Valencia's message to the city on May 5.

Justin Huertass message to the city on May 4.
Justin Huertas's message to the city on May 4.

Charles Mudedes message to the city on May 1.
Charles Mudede's message to the city on May 1.

Kathryn Rathkes message to the city on April 30.
Kathryn Rathke's message to the city on April 30.

Anthony Whites message to the city on April 30.
Anthony White's message to the city on April 30.

Miss Texas 1988s message to the city.
Miss Texas 1988's message to the city.

Matt Bishops message on April 27.
Matt Bishop's message on April 27.

Cherdonnas message to the city on April 26.
Cherdonna's message to the city on April 26.

Shenandoah Daviss message to the city on April 25.
Shenandoah Davis's message to the city on April 25.

Lorena Gonzálezs message to the city on April 24.
Lorena González's message to the city on April 24.

Clyde Petersens message to the city on April 23.
Clyde Petersen's message to the city on April 23.

David Ritts message to the city on April 22.
David Ritt's message to the city on April 22.

Sara Porkalobs message to the city on April 21.
Sara Porkalob's message to the city on April 21.

Julia Sweeneys message to the city on April 20.
Julia Sweeney's message to the city on April 20.

Linda Derschangs message to the city on April 19.
Linda Derschang's message to the city on April 19.

Molly Sidess message to the city on April 18.
Molly Sides's message to the city on April 18.

Nick Garrisons message to the city on April 17.
Nick Garrison's message to the city on April 17.

Tomo Nakayamas message to the city on April 16.
Tomo Nakayama's message to the city on April 16.

Rebecca M. Daviss message to the city April 15.
Rebecca M. Davis's message to the city April 15.

Heather McHughs message to the city on April 14.
Heather McHugh's message to the city on April 14.

Brandon ONeills message to the city on April 13.
Brandon O'Neill's message to the city on April 13.

Kate Wallichs message to the city on April 12.
Kate Wallich's message to the city on April 12.

Rebecca Browns message to the city on April 11.
Rebecca Brown's message to the city on April 11.

Lucien Postlewaites message to the city on April 10.
Lucien Postlewaite's message to the city on April 10.

Betty Wetters message to the city on April 9.
Betty Wetter's message to the city on April 9.

Amanda Morgans message to the city on April 8.
Amanda Morgan's message to the city on April 8.

Nancy Guppys message to the city on April 7.
Nancy Guppy's message to the city on April 7.

Jonathan Bisss message to the city on April 6.
Jonathan Biss's message to the city on April 6.

Chris Jeffriess message to the city on April 5.
Chris Jeffries's message to the city on April 5.

Lesley Hazletons message to the city on April 4.
Lesley Hazleton's message to the city on April 4.

John Rodericks message to the city on April 3.
John Roderick's message to the city on April 3.

Bill Cartys message to the city on April 2.
Bill Carty's message to the city on April 2.

Price Suddarths message to the city on April 1.
Price Suddarth's message to the city on April 1.

Kary Waysons message to the city on March 31.
Kary Wayson's message to the city on March 31.

Ellen Forneys message to the city on March 30.
Ellen Forney's message to the city on March 30.

Major Scaless message to the city on March 29.
Major Scales's message to the city on March 29.

E. J. Kohs message to the city on March 28.
E. J. Koh's message to the city on March 28.

Ken Jenningss message to the city on March 27.
Ken Jennings's message to the city on March 27.

Demarre McGills message to the city on March 26.
Demarre McGill's message to the city on March 26.

Lynn Sheltons Message to the City on March 25th.
Lynn Shelton's Message to the City on March 25th.

Timothy White Eagles message to the city on March 24.
Timothy White Eagle's message to the city on March 24.

Cookie Coutures message to the city on March 23.
Cookie Couture's message to the city on March 23.

Sarah Rudinoffs message to the city on March 22.
Sarah Rudinoff's message to the city on March 22.

John Osebolds message to the city on March 21.
John Osebold's message to the city on March 21.


Ben Gibbards message to the city on March 21.
Ben Gibbard's message to the city on March 20.

Nathan Chans message to the city on March 19.
Nathan Chan's message to the city on March 19.