In 2019, The Black Doll Project morphed into an Unlearning Racism Art Workshop. Summer 2019, with a core group of artists and educators, we traveled to the Dominican Republic utilizing dollmaking, mural/visual arts, and photo-essays to discuss discrimination, bullying, ableism, genderism, antiblackness, and community building. We are continuing our mission of bringing these powerful intergenerational workshops to organizations, families, and communities dismantling and disrupting racism.
In 2017 we initiated the Black Doll Project as an act of affirmation by sending Black Dolls to the Caribbean to assert the love and power of our Blackness, our Negritude. As people of color we have been stigmatized by the lack of representation in media outlets. What has infused our collective narratives is the perception that we are less than, non-existent, and our worth has been devalued. By sending a Black Doll to a child in the Caribbean we are reaffirming our existence and empowering our children to love, see and imagine their future selves. Our message is a reminder that they are valued and that they matter. Please consider donating a doll today.
In this third session of the 2018 residency for new collaborations, NURTUREart is pleased to host Sewing Room: Hands On Black Freedom by artist Clarivel Ruiz and writer Jazorink.
July 28–August 12
Sewing Room: Hands On Black Freedom
Song, Music, Poetry Revival
Friday, August 10, 7–9pm
Working to resist media and cultural messages that devalue Black and Latinidad character, ethnicity, and culture, Ruiz began sending Black Dolls to young women in the Dominican Republic and Haiti in December 2017. In the Spring of 2018 she held workshops with Dominican and Haitian women to hand-make over forty Black Dolls to ship to the Mariposa Foundation in the Dominican Republic to distribute to local young women.
As part of their residency at NURTUREart, Ruiz and Jazorink will host a number of workshops for people from Haiti and the Dominican Republic to gather, create Black Dolls, and discuss race, discrimination, gender, sexuality, liberation, and decolonization.
We all have a story to share. My words are my truths, my thoughts and my realities, that may just mirror some of your very own! Having the opportunity to work with Clarivel Ruiz is another platform to bridge these cultural gaps of self-identity. Having daughters who attended school in Haiti and have experienced breaking the psychological color barriers that if you are not a lighter color of skin, that you are not beautiful. We owe this to our girls to let them know that they too are beautiful, in all shades and shapes! Through the Black Dolls project, I hope to start the conversation to work with young girls to do just that! —Jazorink
We, daughter from the land called Kiskeya Ayiti Bohio (aka Hispaniola aka Dominican Republic and Haiti), a land colonized but never conquered, raised in New York City on the ancestral bones and covered shrines of the Lenape people. Our artist practice delves into understanding the historical myths that have been created to subvert and oppress people of color and to heal wounds created by racial divides. Merging various arts forms to unravel the destruction created by colonialism. In 2016 we initiated a project called Dominicans Love Haitians Movement bringing together Dominican and Haitians to celebrate our commonalities. Through this project we were accepted into Culture Push’s Utopian Fellowship and the 2017 cohort of Hemispheric Institute’s EmergeNYC program to further develop ourselves as an artist’s activist. In 2016 we became part of the Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matters performance group that developed work for Simon Lee’s gallery exhibit at the New Museum and in 2017, Brooklyn Museum’s closing event We Wanted A Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965–1985 and Art In Odd Places: Sense exhibit. In 2018, we are part of Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative as Associate Artist, Art In Odd Places, Body! exhibit and an NEA recipient for Dominicans Love Haitians Movement. As part of further developing Dominicans Love Haitians Movement, we have raised over $2,000 in donated black dolls that have been sent to Haiti and hand crafted dolls sent to The Mariposa Foundation, Dominican Republic. Our work continues to be to decolonize our ancestral lands.
Pen named Jazorink, Joyce writes from a place of self-reflection, redemption and testimony advocating for self-truths and self-empowerment. A creative writer who expresses life and leadership through words, Joyce (Ayo) Azor is no stranger to the world of music and performing arts. Daughter of disco diva Lucy Martin, formerly of the legendary group CHIC; creative writing, singing and performing have always been a foundation of what fuels and pushes her forward. Joyce’s talents have afforded her the opportunity of working with platinum artists such as Hip Hop’s first ladies, Salt & Pepa, and landing a Hip Hop Recording contract of her own in the early 90’s. Choosing family, she stepped back, never loosing her purpose of creativity, performance and giving back. Jazorink, passionately pushes the next generation into finding their life’s positional purpose alongside her husband, they are the creative minds behind Runway Haiti (circa 2011) and Ayiti Deploge (circa 2008), which develops platforms where music and fashion bridge the gap between established Haitian artists and aspiring brilliant musicians, beautiful models, and talented designers. Why Haiti? “Haiti has always whispered a soft sound of resilience and untapped beauty! It is important that the world sees a different side of Haiti, the beauty of the culture and its people. I didn’t choose Haiti! Haiti chose me!” Currently, Joyce (Ayo) is also the owner of ALCHEMBODY, a place where custom blended essential oils, spiritual oils, and fragrances reconnects and rebalances emotional wellness, supports increasing consciousness through the ase of the herbs, plants, and the hands that create them. You can find her performing spoken word pieces in NYC or abroad, hosting musical performances and continuing to hone her creativity and producing various cultural and art platforms in the United States and Haiti.