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.
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.
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.
Good luck, everyone, facing whatever today brings.
Previously in this series: