Makers Muse stealthily supports visionaries
2020 was an exceptional year in every way. For Kindle Project, it was art and expression that got us through lockdown, protest, endless Zoom calls, strategies and frameworks, and the lull of sleepless nights of uncertain isolation. That’s why 2020 was an exceptionally exquisite year for us to continue to honor artists and culture-makers for their unparalleled contribution to not only this moment but every moment over time.
Our Makers Muse program has been known to pleasantly surprise creative visionaries from around the world with Kindle love. 2020 was no different, as we dug up 12 culture-making treasures. From New Mexico, to New Orleans, Senegal to Colombia, we scoured our backyards and traversed the metaphorical seas and deserts to rally the latest and greatest Makers Muse pack. A word engineer, a sonic magician, an image ninja. A tinkerer of noise, wind, and water. A muser of absurdity, sarcasm, myth, and merriment. Feather collectors and collectors of public imagination. The narrators of forgotten tongue. Political dissenters and graffiti writers. An architect of history. A chemist of light. Women who defy gravity with shiny melodic tools.
All of the 2020 Makers Muse artists wowed us with their unique voices, often difficult explorations of place and self, and a tireless dedication to their art as a way to shift culture. We’re proud to support them, and excited to continue following their brilliant work!
Kombilesa Mí, which takes its name from the traditional Palenque language, an expression that translated into Spanish means My Friends, has been working with the children and young people of the Palenquera community in search of strengthening the traditional Palenque language, through creation, composition and musical staging using as a basis the RFP Rap Folkloriko Palenkero genre, which highlights the traditional music of Palenque. The sound and musical format are based on the traditional palenquero rhythms: El Son Palenquero, El Mapalé, La Chalupa, El Bullerengue and La Chalusonga among others; and they perform rap with their typical instruments: The Female Drum, The Happy Drum, La Marímbula, The Calling Drum and The Maracas, fusing sounds from the Colombian Caribbean with contemporary musical expressions. The songs are compositions written in Palenquero and Spanish languages. Kombilesa Mi has become one of the revelatory musical groups in Colombia, participating in international tours in countries such as the United States and Mexico.
kai lumumba barrow is a queer Black feminist, abolitionist, activist, and artist based in New Orleans. Experimenting with abolition as a framework, barrow’s sprawling paintings, installations, and sculptures suggest movement/building. Her four muses: Absurdity, Sarcasm, Myth, and Merriment, perform theory as an aesthetic genre. In 2010, barrow launched Gallery of the Streets (gXs), a broad network of artists, activists, and scholars who work at the nexus of art, education, and community engagement. To find out more about her work, see www.kailbarrow.com and www.galleryofthestreets.org.