August 20 - October 15, 2021

blue/Black/baby smiles, singin’ to an old river- we hear you coming

Nastassja Swift

Residency: July 15 - September 4, 2021

Part of Artist-in-Residence

blue/Black/baby smiles, singin’ to an old river-  we hear you coming Remembering Her Homecoming  Nastassja Swift, performance, fiber and film, Photo by Marlon Turner

In the spirit of community-
we bring forth an ode to water,
and to those present and preserved among it.
A gift to ancestry, to us.
Through our dance, spirit and song
is the embodiment of paradise.
A journey from land to water.

“There is something about dancing that is family.”

The presence of young
and practice of old,
we fly on foot.
Pretending to be the water.
In the name of souls past,
we are paradise.

How do we bring joy to our spaces?
blue/Black/baby smiles,
singin’ to an old river-
we hear you coming
unfolds as a youth led parade and performance that answers that question. A celebration of self, our woven communities, and the presence of joy and paradise within us. The use of masks, indigo, movement, and poetry, speak to spirituality, water, migration, and the Blues - remnants of our Blackness. These things go together.

The collaborative parade navigates spaces of Black life, both past and present, while confronting the removal of life and space. A statement of triumph and power. We parade for each other. We must.

“It’s so magic, folks feel their own ancestors coming up out of the earth to be in the realms of their descendants”

-Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo, Ntozake Shange

More on the project HERE.

This project was supported in part by an ArtsNEXT grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

About the Artist

Nastassja Swift

Nastassja Swift is a multi-disciplinary artist holding a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Virginia Commonwealth University. She works with fiber, audio, performance, and film within her studio practice. Nastassja is the recipient of a Virginia Commission of the Arts Fellowship in Craft for the 2020 cycle, and recently the... go to artist page

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