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Things We Like: Staycee Pearl, Love Front Porch, and Southern Eats

Polaroids in Detroit, Art in Homewood, UpSouth in Brooklyn, and more of what we're checkin' for

Staycee Pearl profiled in the Trib

...and we applauded! The profile lauds Pearl, the founding artistic director of PearlArts Studios and the Staycee Pearl dance project, as a passionate, nurturing, and collaborative artist and teacher who creates socially conscious work and inspires others to do the same.
photo: Paul Kruse

01

“Rescuing Discarded Images of Everyday Black Life”

Who throws away family photos? This question stuck with photographer Zun Lee after he stumbled upon a dozen Polaroids on a sidewalk in Detroit. This happenstance inspired him to put a collection of found photos at the center of his upcoming project, “Fade Resistance,” at the Magnum Foundation’s Photography, Expanded Symposium. Of the photos, Lee says, “There looms over them that question of dislocation and dispossession that made these images available to us. What are the circumstances that allow families to lose these images? It cannot be a good circumstance. You can possibly conjecture a history of gentrification, foreclosures. Some of the stories may not be so grave, maybe they just wanted to get rid of them. In any case, there are a multitude of interesting stories you could conjecture how these images are available to us.”

Through his project, Lee hopes to reunite the photos with their owners. The project will also feature a digital storytelling platform that invites writers and other artists to create new stories for the people and scenes depicted in the photos.

02

Love Front Porch

“I like to work out on my porch, when I can, out in the open and a part of the sounds, the stories, the [Homewood] community. When I’m making art on my porch, kids in the neighborhood, and people standing at the corner waiting on the bus ply me with questions. ‘Whatcha doin’?’ quickly became ‘Can we do it, too?’ So we, my partner and I, invited them to make art with us, on the front porch. The porch filled up. Every day, more and more kids come, craving art. And this is how I know art makes a difference, because these same kids who used to play ‘gang’ in the alleyways behind our houses, pulling hair, ripping clothes, and tumbling into the street with their ‘fake’ fights, they now show up at our door, expectant, hopeful—’Ms. Vanessa, are we doing art today? I want to paint the night sky with stars.’” - Vanessa German, artist

03

The UpSouth Cookbook: Chasing Dixie in a Brooklyn Kitchen

Squash and tomatillo grits? Collard green pesto and pasta? Athens, Georgia native and home cook Nicole A. Taylor had us at “hello,” with her new book that reimagines familiar Southern favorites to create recipes with an international twist. A gift storyteller, Taylor has imbued her recipes and the accompanying narratives with the hospitality of the South.

04

Zinester on Kickstarter

Zinester is a social enterprise initiative whose goal is to give marginalised people a voice by teaching them to make and publish DIY magazines (zines). Through a series of workshops, these budding journalists and photographers are encouraged to unlock their creativity and channel it into a business enterprise of their own making. The profit from the zines, which you can either subscribe to or, at higher tier levels, commission, go toward purchasing school necessities and reimbursing the teachers, many of whom are volunteers. Additionally, Zinester hopes to combat the low literacy rates among women and low income groups that make it impossible for many to construct and convey the narratives they need to affect change. Head over to the Kickstarter, watch the video, and donate.

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