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Alexandria Eregbu is a multimedia artist, writer, and educator whose practice draws from ancestral histories, lived experiences, and her own imagination to deepen her connectivity to the natural world. Her work is driven by travel, storytelling, memories (whether lived or dreamt), and surrealist activity across the diaspora— spanning from Nigeria, West Africa, the Caribbean, and her native city in Chicago. Her contributions have been presented at the Center for Afrofuturist Studies at Public Space One in Iowa City, Poets House in New York, the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, Casa Rosada in Salvador, Brazil, and Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, among others. Her writing has been published by the University of Chicago Press, Terremoto Magazine, and Green Lantern Press. Alexandria is a current Emerging Artist Fellow with the Driehaus Museum (2020); a recipient of the 3Arts Award (2016); and Newcity Breakout Artist (2015). She teaches as faculty in the department of Fiber & Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English, specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory and American slavery. She is the convener and founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. #Charlottesville. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.
Insights from this episode:
- What it means to teach sewing at art school
- How art intertwines with social justice
- How artwork works as a form of empowerment
- Alexandra empowering young boys and girls
- What textile means to Alexandra
- Alexandra landing and working with Indigo
- What the project ‘Finding Ijeoma’ is and what it meant for her
- Expressing herself through deejaying
Quotes from the show:
- “Justice is definitely something that has become more and more central to my practice. Where that initially started was my work teaching young people between the ages of 14-19 years old” —Alexandra Eregbu in “Stitch Please”
- “When I first started this program, a lot of them (young boys and girls) assumed I was just like them. It really pit me in a unique position to be a friend and also a mentor” —Alexandra Eregbu in “Stitch Please”
- “The power of being present, is what these young boys and girls, who often times just need a listening ear, a little affirmation here and it will take them so far” —Alexandra Eregbu in “Stitch Please”
- “You can have a job that doesn’t require you to clock in and clock out. You can have a job that is not extracting from you. You can have a job where you create beauty (…) I think that it’s important that kids know that” —Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”
- “I take responsibility and I think it’s a privledge to be able to know where it is you are from. And I take responsibility: that’s something I don’t really take lightly” —Alexandra Eregbu in “Stitch Please”
- “Some of those girls still check in with me to this today, which is a blessing: you just never know whose life you gonna touch” —Alexandra Eregbu in “Stitch Please”
Instagram: Lisa Woolfork
Twitter: Lisa Woolfork
Website: Alexandria Eregbu
LinkedIn: Alexandria Eregbu
Instagram: Alexandria Eregbu
This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.