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It Ain’t Where You’re From

Dr. Lori Barcliff Baptista

June 14, 2018 - August 24, 2018 / AACC Gallery 

It Ain't Where You're From expands upon ideas about global mobility, imagination and survival introduced in the 1990 Eric B. and Rakim rap single In the Ghetto. The exhibition offers ways of seeing how and where Black people might situate themselves within colonial and post-colonial histories, points of transit, urban and rural environments through representations of iconic and less familiar landscapes, portraits, and candid photographs.

Click here for Dr. Baptista's artist talk.

Click here for a gallery walk through of Dr. Baptista's exhibit.

Since I made it this far, I can’t stop now. There’s a will and a way and I got to know how. To be all I can be and more. And see all there is to see before.

Eric B. and Rakim

For as long as I can remember, I have been a storyteller.

I believe in the power of stories. They build and destroy relationships, create and dismantle injustices, discourage and inspire adventurous souls. I am interested in developing my capacity to use text, touch, sound, smell, movement and image to tell compelling stories that scratch at what lies beneath the surface of everyday life.

I first came to study black-and-white film photography as a release from the stress of undergraduate life. I returned to digital photography many years later, as a critical ethnographer, trying to make sense of how people use objects and images to try to make sense of how they see themselves in the world. I embrace bricolage as a method of re-configuring memory and imagination.

I am grateful for the past, present, and future collaborators in this work.

An interdisciplinary scholar/artist, Dr. Baptista integrates arts, humanities and social science frameworks, practices and perspectives to examine cultural representations and their impact on marginalized communities. Her scholarly work and research interests reflect a long-standing preoccupation with how members of diverse communities transmit social knowledge and a sense of identity through seemingly mundane objects, materials and expressive formats. She brings to bear more than 18 years of experience researching, developing, and participating in cultural programs and initiatives that convene artists, civic leaders, students, faculty and staff, cultural institutions, and grassroots organizations to address pressing social concerns. Critical of the “heroes and holidays” approach towards diversity, she is especially interested in creative practices that individuals engage in to honor, validate and convey their sense of connectedness to multiple places or traditions, and has published a number of articles, working papers and book reviews on these topics. Dr. Baptista earned a Ph.D. in performance studies from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in liberal studies from Rutgers University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. She teaches film, literature, ethnography, museum studies and performance-based courses.