Imani Jacqueline Brown
Fossil Free Fest
New Orleans, United States · Visual Arts
Imani Jacqueline Brown has been awarded the 2019 Afield fellowship for the initiative Fossil Free Fest in New Orleans. Imani’s work investigates extractive environmental and economic practices to expose the violence and resistance that comprise the foundations of US society.
From 2016-2018, Imani worked as Director of Programs at Antenna, New Orleans. There, she founded Fossil Free Fest, a biennial gathering around art, food, music, films, and difficult conversations about the ethics and complexities of funding art and education with fossil fuel philanthropy. The Fest offers a dedicated and open space for Louisiana to celebrate the foreseeable end of the Fossil Fuel Era and imagine and design a #FossilFreeCulture.
Antenna launched the first FFF in April 2018. The event initiated a rich conversation among artists, activists, tribal leaders, scientists, educators, administrators, funders, and the general public.
FFF 2020 will continue these conversations while opening up new imaginative horizons. Across the globe, demands for corporate accountability, reparations for slavery, colonialism, and climate change, and the rights of Mother Earth are forming a counterweight to corporate impunity for crimes against humanity and nature.
One of the goals for 2020 is to explore ideas such as a ‘Green New Deal’ for a just transition of culture and economy, organizing beyond ‘restoration’ to demand reparations for 300 years of extraction; the rights of nature; and a youth vision for the future, with workshops around “ecological reparations” for violated human and nonhuman coastal communities, which have been decimated by oil extraction.
Imani (USA, 1988) is an artist, activist, and researcher from New Orleans, who believes that art can drive policy. Her work investigates extractive financial, environmental, and labor practices to expose the layers of violence and resistance that comprise the social foundations of the U.S.A and state of Louisiana.
Imani is a co-founder of Blights Out (2014-2018), a collective of artists, activists, and architects who worked to demystify and democratize development in post-Katrina New Orleans, and a core member of Occupy Museums, an artist/activist collective, formed during Occupy Wall Street (2011-Present), to challenge the commodification and financialization of art and culture.
Imani is currently an Open Society Foundations Economic Inequality Fellow and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths. She was named as a “Visionary” for the Grist 50 (2018) and was one of two people in North America to receive Goldsmiths’ International Postgraduate Scholarship.