Using the arts, language and media as catalyst for activism and social change

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Grace is Guyanese by birth.  At age fourteen she migrated to the United States and has made a name for herself and country. Her work includes several multi-media projects on the cultural and artistic production of Guyana and the Diaspora, using arts and language to stir activism and influence social change.

Grace Aneiza Ali

As a curator she has engaged in curatorial research and teaching practice that centres on curatorial activism, socially engaged art practices, global contemporary art, and art of the Caribbean Diaspora with a focus on Guyana.

Grace is a proud mentor for undeserved girls in New York City, mentoring a new group of writers through Girls Write Now, which is a consistent top nationally acclaimed nonprofit organisation. She is also using her platform to help society reimage how women and their work are seen and valued. In an interview she expressed outrage at the archaic definition of “women’s work” in the 21st century. It was found that the prestigious Oxford dictionary, in spite of quarterly updates over decades, still defines ‘women’s work’ as “work traditionally and historically undertaken by women, especially tasks of a domestic nature such as cooking, needlework and child rearing.”

Offering her perspective on the limited definition, Grace said it begs the question: “Who gets to define, and what happens when those being defined don’t have a say?” Such definition, according to her, should force recognition of the importance of art and language in shaping how we think, thereby reinforcing “why ‘women’s work’ should be expanded to include acts of resistance.”

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Accepting said reality, Grace acknowledged the importance of language as a tool in resistance and for empowerment. Accordingly she noted that “Language is so critical to every single thing that we do. Language can be used as a tool of liberation. It can equally be used as a tool of oppression. So when we ask people to shift the way they think about a particular idea, we have to start with language.”

Acclaims and achievements

Master of Arts-Africana Studies from New York University

Bachelor of Arts- English Literature (with a concentration in African Diaspora Literature) from New York University

Certificate- Women’s Studies, University of Maryland (graduating magna cum laude)

Assistant Professor and Provost Fellow in the Department of Art & Public Policy at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and affiliated faculty with the Asian/Pacific/American Institute

Fulbright Scholar and a World Economic Forum “Global Shaper”

Curator-at-Large for the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in New York.

Founder and curator of Guyana Modern- online platform for contemporary arts and culture

Founder and Editorial Director -OF NOTE Magazine.

In 2014 OF NOTE received the Images and Voices of Hope (IVOH) Journalism Award for “Media Project Committed to Constructive Change” with its reporting on the intersection of art and activism.  She served as Editor and Digital Curator for several of the magazine’s art and social justice issues, including: The Gun Issue, The Water Issue, The Imprisoned, and The Immigrant.

In 2014 2014, she received the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship for her contribution to the emerging scholarship on art history and photography in Guyana.

Her essays on contemporary art and photography have been published in Harvard’s Transition Magazine, Nueva Luz Journal, Small Axe Journal, among others.

Co-launched and served as the inaugural Host of the “Visually Speaking” public program series at The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center, which examined the state of photojournalism through the lens of contemporary photographers and image-makers.

Awards and fellowships

New York University Provost Faculty Fellowship

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Grant

Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship

Fulbright Fellowship

New York University Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship

 

Source- Internet



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