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Tuesday, October 20 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Session 3: Promoting Women's Health through Media Arts Collaboration / The Black Power Station: Designing Xhosa Cultural Space + Creative Processes to Transform Indigenous Communities

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Promoting Women's Health (Wu, Xu) - "For Tashi" is the outcome of a media arts collaboration between research universities to promote women's health awareness. Combing computer program generated visuals, soundscape, voice, and the sound of ancient Chinese instrument Konghou, this project depicts the physical and emotional journey that a woman goes through when losing her baby prematurely, aiming to share this deeply personal, largely unspoken, and often overlooked experience with the public, in the hope to transfer the previously private excursion to a communal experience.

Black Power Station (Crisman) - This presentation will examine lessons learned from the Black Power Station project—a collaboration with the Xhosa community to design a sustainable public performance space and arts programming in an abandoned power station in Makhanda, South Africa. Indigenous artists have informally occupied this ruined landscape of giant brick industrial buildings as an arts space for black youth from the townships. Our creative research seeks to help the community overcome the history of apartheid and its legacies—land colonization, radical economic and social inequality, high unemployment and poverty, violence, political alienation, and environmental degradation. Xhosa hip-hop musician and activist Xolile Madinda and University of Virginia faculty and students in Architecture, Ethnomusicology, and Global Development Studies are co-producing music, poetry, art, and architecture through physical exchanges and virtual connections, while stimulating arts education and arts-based community development at the Black Power Station. The collaborative design process is highly iterative and emergent, treats all participants as socially and culturally situated, and troubles conventional ideas of expertise and divisions of labor. We are generating a sustainable creative process shaped by significant social and cultural difference—while designing arts programming and indigenous cultural space to promote equity, reduce resource use and foster community thriving.


Jiayue Cecilia Wu

Jiayue Cecilia Wu is a scholar, composer, audio engineer, performer, and multimedia artist. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Design and Engineering in 2000. In 2013, Cecilia obtained her Master of Arts degree in Music, Science, and Technology from Stanford University... Read More →

Phoebe Crisman

Phoebe Crisman AIA is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where she teaches architecture and urban studios, and directs the interdisciplinary Global Studies program. Her public interest design with Crisman+Petrus Architects creates more resilient and just communities... Read More →

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT