MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST, WRITER, POET, EDUCATOR & COACH

Orlando Ferrand
LEARN FROM THE PRACTITIONER
UNDERNEATH THE ACCENT OF MY SKIN
Orlando Ferrand
06
May
2015

2015 WINNER OF THE ARTIST IN COMMUNITY GRANT, NYSCA/BCA.

UNDERNEATH THE ACCENT OF MY SKIN: A CREATIVE MULTIDISCIPLINARY WORKSHOP FOR OUR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES

As a mixed race and immigrant poet, writer and multidisciplinary artist, I am interested in exploring the realm of hyphenated identities as well as the definitions of refugee and immigrant through the creative process, in order to move beyond their traditionally prejudistic confinement toward a multiethnic and cross-cultural approach to the text as a visual and/or written narrative, as a permanent record of our ancestry, and as a catalyst for transformation of both the individual and the community. In global neighborhoods such as New York City and The Bronx, in particular, the notion of identity is often challenged by its own denizens and the body of politics. Hence, if The Bronx is, indeed, a melting pot, our notion of identity, based on ethnic and cultural idiosyncrasies, becomes the vessel capable of containing the universality of those very ethnic and cultural backgrounds rooted in individual expression. Therefore, the borough that fuels my creative and teaching practice becomes a catalyst for empowerment and transformation of the individual—both the artist and the community. No matter where we come from, or the circumstances that brought us here, we become "the other" when we find it possible to relate to one another, only if we were to look at our similarities instead of looking at our differences. In a world swamped by the spree of globalization and digital communication, the human notion of identity acquires a multiplicity of nuances through storytelling and visual representations such as clay sculptures, photography, drawing and mixed media. The creative process becomes a vehicle for self-awareness, allowing our hyphenated identities to acquire a sense of universality through the fabric of our singularity.

ARTIST STATEMENT

As a mixed race and immigrant poet, writer and multidisciplinary artist, I am interested in exploring the realm of "hyphenated identities" as well as the definitions of "refugee" and "immigrant" through the creative process, in order to move beyond traditional prejudice and bias confinement toward a multiethnic and cross-cultural approach to the text as a visual and/or written narrative, as a permanent record of our ancestry, as a depository of identity, and as a catalyst for transformation of both the individual and the community. 

PREAMBLE

This is a multidisciplinary project-based series of 4 workshop sessions with emphasis on creative writing, storytelling, photography, collage and air-dry clay sculpting. It will culminate with a public exhibit of the process, a reading and a follow up with workshop participants to create an anthology of poetry and short narrative. 

INTRODUCTION

No matter where we come from, or the circumstances that brought us here, we become "the other" when we find it possible to relate to one another, only if we were to look at our similarities instead of looking at our differences. In a world swamped by the spree of globalization and digital communication, the human notion of identity acquires a multiplicity of nuances through storytelling and visual representations such as clay sculptures, photography, drawing and mixed media. The creative process becomes a vehicle for self-awareness, allowing our "hyphenated identities" to acquire a sense of universality through the fabric of our singularity.

THE WORKSHOP SERIES 

PLACE: HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, 500 Grand Concourse, ROOM C-391
Bronx, NY 10451

WORKSHOP TIME & ROOM: ALL SESSIONS STARTING AT 12:00 NOON AND ENDING AT 3:00 PM, EXCEPT FOR SESSION 4 on JUNE 13th , 2015 from 1:30 AM – 3:30 PM. THERE WILL BE A 15 MIN BREAK AT 1:30 PM. ROOM C-391 

PRESENTATION TO THE PUBLIC AT THE ATRIUM: 3:00 PM -– 5:00 PM: ART EXHIBIT, OPEN MIC 

1.) SESSION 1. MAY 16TH, 2015 from 12:00 NOON – 3:00 PM. What is identity? Can we choose our own? We will explore through journal writing, vignettes, drawing and topic-oriented testimonies how in global communities such as New York City, and The Bronx in particular, the notion of identity is often challenged by its own denizens and the body of politics. 


2.) SESSION 2. MAY 30TH, 2015 from 12:00 NOON – 3:00 PM. Are we really a melting pot? We will explore through collage techniques and creative writing how our notion of identity, based on ethnic and cultural idiosyncrasies, becomes the vessel capable of containing the universality of those very ethnic and cultural backgrounds rooted in individual expression. We live in tales: We'll develop a portfolio of fabulations, based on workshop prompts and musings, that will germinate from the deconstruction of fairy tales, folktales and legends in a journey that will take us through Western, Oriental, and Native American tales, and will end with Afro-Cuban patakis.


3.) SESSION 3. JUNE 6th ,2015 from 12:00 NOON - 3:00 PM. Artist/Writer as both, spiritual being and socio-political entity. Internal and External Inventories through journal writing, short narrative and storytelling: we'll begin working with a personal inventory of character traits, familial relationships and even traumatic situations in and around our lives, taking into account socio-cultural and socio-political events which have also impacted our lives. We’ll be revisiting the concept of "story,” woven since time immemorial into the fabric of universal archetypes, in order to recreate it from an individual perspective by playing with the core elements that have traditionally shaped the notion of fable, tale and storytelling. 


4.) SESSION 4. JUNE 13th , 2015 from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM. We live in poems: exploration of feelings through metaphors and poetic images invoked by revisiting memory lane: our music, our songs, our rhythms. We'll develop a series of poems, based on our idiosyncrasies and subjective view of ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us. We'll sculpt a mask that bears a resemblance to our ancestors and to ourselves. 


5.) SESSION 5. JUNE 20th , 2015 from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. UNDERNEATH THE ACCENT OF MY SKIN: WHO AM I? PRESENTATION/EXHIBIT/OPEN MIC. 


Orlando Ferrand

BRONX, NEW YORK, 2015

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