Sunday, March 30, 2008

Readers Dreaming up a New Image

Like we said. Things are changing in the face of the media, starting with us of course.
but really...
To the art makers in this issue of Fader mag... Esau Mwamwaya, Kwaw Kese, & BLK JKS keep shininG
Read the words down below and you will feel some truth in them. I guarantee.
Light speed ahead.
Shout out to Boo-chi for reminding me to post this one



"It’s not without reason that the popular image of Africa is outlined in chaos and heartbreak: political upheaval, disease, genocide, corruption and what has seemed like-in the lives of the FADER staff, at least-a continuous march towards an inexorable decline, buffeted only occasionally by good news. This is, of course, a thoroughly incomplete portrait of a continent, a people and the many, many countries and societies that make it up. The last year has shown all of us who make it a point to digest and seek out some New Shit, that Africa-in its multitudinous zigs and zags-is not just the most newsworthy continent in the world right now, but, in many ways, the most culturally influential. Traditional soukous music has threaded its way through indie rock, afrobeat now underlines folk, club music owes as much to kuduro as it does Miami bass. Rarely, however, does anyone acknowledge Africa’s incredibly relevant and totally fucking awesome exports, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do just that. We’re not proposing a rainbow at the end of a very dark day-the bleak reality of the carnage on the ground will dismiss anyone’s fantasies-but this issue is something to be taken in hand and perhaps remind the world out there that Africa is a dynamic and complex continent of civilizations and cultures before it is anything else."


I found these on my friend Kyja's bookshelf in DC last week in this same order.

Oh the Places You'll Go,
The People Could Fly, Many Thousand Gone
stacked in a row

i thought it was pretty sweet and serendipitous, given the nature of things.

when you be passin me by

Ran into this fellow two weeks ago as I was coming out of the Metro in DC.
I was all luggage lugged down coming out. You know when you see people and are just really peeping their style or I don't know something about them.. And you're just mutually kinda checkin each other out and not always on the I think you're attractive tip.
I think people can just appreciate seeming strangers, perhaps people you might never talk to. Or I guess I do that all the time.. like think to myself.."how lovely was that person just passing me by?" or "mm mm goodness gracious". You know? I think the world is full of people bounty worth appreciating. And this dude, who I eventually did say hello to and ask to take his picture is apart of that. As well as the dude sitting in the background, who I didn't talk to... but is almost there purposefully. MM mm mM, goodness gracious. beauty.
On an related unrelated tip.. this is my freshman year spring 05.
Atlanta. Spelman. Castleberry Apt. Citizens of Life brigadiers mix.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

On the way this week: AHHHH

I got an interview coming up with one ubiquitous Mr. Austin Purnell of DC.. and some other random variables floating around. Some stuff from the recent visit to DC. I just love looking at the people on the Metro. I got off the plane last week in Reagon International.. and got on the Metro.. and just gosh look at these chocolate people.. look at these brown people.. look at these people of their variousness. this richness of being..
There's something beautiful there.. ok. There's just something beautiful.

Also on an administrative tip. There's different aspects here. You see this blog right? But then there's this whole other side where we're shooting off emails and messages and dealing with budgets for now and the future. And planning. And brainstorming. And talking to people we've never seen or spoken to across the country or the world. Speaking to sponsors and mentors. Our friends. Keeping up with friends. And working with friends ( that's in the works.. shoot us an email! ) The vast machinations of the self.mind. whirring! Who can control it?! Who can contain it! Not I! Not I, my nimble friends.

And then one must stay up and on top of the art-making as well.. the footage, the editing ( AHH the editing..)

This is clockworks spinning.. this is multiple gears.. this is a body regulating..

just an idea though.. just an idea.. no stress..keep it simple..
we like to eat them.. have them for breakfast.. make lunch.. and then dinners. Get hungry.. eat you all over again... i am thinking of aerial stunts all of a sudden.. i guess that's another convo though

Question # 1 When a seed is a star

WHat is dreaming? What is a dream.

On a freewrite status, as just a thought I was thinking.

I think a dream and dreams on a very base level is a commonality. We ALL dream.
We all have things that run through our minds and heads, that we want to develop or see happen or see shining in the moonlight or the sun.

Like at a base level and a deep level I think we all have this thing, no matter what seems to be your reality I think so.. I really think so.. and these dreams are multifarious and multi-faceted and many.. but they are there between us and among us and above us, quivering and vibrating between us.

Or how people will be talking about the same dream for months or years even. Years! If they are developing it or a still wanting to accomplish it. It crops up again and again. It comes back again and again to them even if in different forms.

People always talk about not giving up on your dreams, but I also kind of think, if this makes sense
your dreams never give up on you.
They are continually poking and prodding you and it makes you uncomfortable and also excited..
this naked fear to dare to make it happen.
Sometimes it doesn't feel like it's easy to accept those dreams we have born.borne within us.

Sometimes that is the scariest thing. I wonder why? I wonder why?

But I really believe a dream, is a beginning and a dream is a seed and a dream is us. A dream is still you.

"A seed's a star.." Stevie Wonder

Letter to the Peoples, Mission Link

Letter to the Peoples,

I felt an all of a sudden jarring need to say. something. Whilst sitting here this early Saturday braiding my hair into plaits for the day. Basically it's time to launch. It's time to launch. And I say this is no pseudo-cool get ready get ready way.It's really time to launch. Reaching the next phase of the journey, the next stage of this flight and journey.

That involves many things. It involves "building", which I had the pleasure of talking to this nice fellow from San Diego about this past week.. never talked to him before, but we move nonetheless... And we mutually noted that word.

It involves sharing. It involves brainstorming. And it involves completion. Of a stated dream, goal, task. And no deferment.
No deferment period, and no waiting, no waiting on ourselves to jump into the skin of ourselves we dream of.

As always I've been writing emails and messages and making calls..talking, dreaming, sleeping, waking,
hoping to connect myself and the people and our dreams across our space or time or distance.. those certain uncertain things. Hoping to light up these connections like a highway in the night. I think we can make real powerful things happen through those connections.. that are already there if we should see them. i just seem to believe..

-I the Abioto

Friday, March 28, 2008

Forbes Mag: South Africa's Newest Billionaire

If you have the time, check this out...

If you time...

Not only is he a billionaire, but a prince!
I'm going to do a little bit more research on this prince Akeem
to get all the lowdown but until then I must say congrats. I encourage you to read the article
and do the same. If anything its sure to inspire. Even if you don't seek
monetary wealth surely you seek abundance, and well...we can all cheers to that right?
Also, check out the latest issue of Fader Magazine.
The whole issue is dedicated to Africa and it's rich culture.
I feel a trend coming on, how about you?

Shout out to Wanda

Goofin in edit Room217

In case you were wondering, this is what we do at school.
Correction. This is what I do at school...
There's nothing like good ol procrastination
In the lab


Thursday, March 27, 2008

There are no recycle bins in airports...

I've noticed something strange on our frequent trips through airport land. And I want to see if anybody else has noticed.. or what? Because it's kind of strange and I would expect something a little better. You tell me..

I haven't seen or witnessed a single recyle bin in any of the airports I've been through. Are my eyes decieving me?

I've been to MEM, LGA, DCA, ATL, SFO, CDG, DTW, BDL, LAX, JAN, JIB, and RDU over the past year and as far as I can recall haven't seen a single recycle bin.

I'd say I didn't see one in Amsterdam, but maybe I wasn't looking. To their benefit though they had these really cool escalators that only turned on when someone was about to step on it to use it.
But on route to some place I can't recall I know I carried at least 4 plastic bottles in my bag, because there were just no recycle bins..

And that just doesn't make sense given the sheer amount of plastic goods that are sold and bought simply within airports. You can't bring liquids in anymore so think about the number of beverages that are bought SIMPLY within the world of airports. And what if people did not recycle all those bottles, which as I would guess is not happening. I wonder how many empty bottles airports produce in a day.

One would think that someplace as supposedly knowledgeable or as upright as an airport would've gotten the gist.. or even that the people passing through the airports would've noticed.. or even if you're thinking about what we leave behind in a place.. if you're a traveler you should be conscious of what you leave behind. I mean those bottles aren't going on the plane with you. They're staying in the place where you left it... What does that say about how much you care? Or are perhaps really thinking about your various destinations? The airport is made to feel like such a sterile looking place. What if all the trash and bottles that were used there just stayed there.. in the airport.. maybe then people would notice.. and perhaps care..

This isn't really a tirade or anything. I'm just wondering if anybody else has noticed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

note: what we are what we do

It's a rather conceptual time space event, combustion!conjunction!, worlds myth-memory, creation future history.

Emily Dickinson Detour


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I think this was just necessary at this precise moment. Sometimes in particular moments, be they sparse or close upon themselves,
you just need some Emily Dickinson.

Two-Seat Rocket to Give Space Tourists a Spin

Carazy styles of flight and life! We all knew this was coming. You know we used to and still find this stuff in books.. and dreams, ynammean? All that stuff.. takes time and craziness.. but begins with a frigigin dream. gon' head folks.. plantcha seeds.


Two-Seat Rocket to Give Space Tourists a Spin

John Antczak, Associated Press

March 26, 2008 -- A California aerospace company plans to enter the space tourism industry with a two-seat rocket ship capable of suborbital flights to altitudes more than 37 miles above the Earth.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blast: On Trinity Church from Native Chicagoan

..I received this from my cousin Eric Williams in Chicago after calling for contributors to the project blog-with thoughts, ideas, or happenings that may want to be shared. He writes on our family blog at

I think this is relevant.. mainly because we need to tell our stories ok? Tell your story! If you don't, if you don't open your lungs, and sing, and shout or dance or whatever you want to do, somebody else might come along to tell your story, and they ain't never gonna tell it the way you want it to be told. SO it goes with this and communities and people of color.
So it goes, ok? Young people? Tell your story? People of color? Tell your story. Anybody tell your story ok? Tell your dream. Tell your history. Tell your present. Dare to tell your future, even when everyone thinks you're crazy cause they can't see what you see.. yet.
Stories make the world go, you know? I really think they do. They are the makings behind our thoughts of reality.
but let me go on head and get off the writing stand..

Sad, distorted images of Chicago, Trinity and Barack Obama in TIME Magazine

You know things have gotten bad when the mighty TIME Magazine decides to join Fox's negative pile-on, slamming Chicago's Black Community and attempting to denigrate Senator Barrack Obama because of statements made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his (and Trinity's) former pastor. I've taken special interest in the growing media frenzy...mostly because Obama is my Senator and I have visited his church on many occasions. To call TIME's coverage shallow is an understatement. The article was written by Lori Reese, a reporter who seems to have very limited knowledge of Chicago.

Checkout the original post at this link.,8599,1724976,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-nation

I emailed the following letter to the editors at TIME...since they probably won't run it, I decided to reproduce it here.

Leave it to TIME to describe my South Side Chicago neighborhood in such dismal terms that it is absolutely unrecognizable. Simply stated, your article made my blood boil, but believe it or not, it is one of the few I've read lately that made even a feeble attempt at balance. Is it really fair to characterize the South Side with a housing project that has been torn down for more than five years? Or heat wave deaths that are more than 12 years old and killed people all over the city and metropolitan area? Is it balanced to profile a former self-professed "thug" without mentioning the row upon row of college educated congregants who also share Trinity's pews? I'm a graduate of Univerity of Illinois, with a Masters Degree from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. When I visit Trinity, I am surrounded by many people whose educational achievements equal or outstrip my own. The cracked sidewalks we walk upon have more to do with our harsh winters than our "underclass" status. Thanks for following Fox's lead and piling on. Now that your contempt is on the record, maybe someone can follow up with a little balance ...real balance would be nice. I suggest that you send someone who knows a little bit about Chicago next time.

Sorry for the digression, but some things need to be said.

Blast: Ghost and Politics via Flyfury

I put out a call for contributors on the facebook group as well as calling for folks who are doing crazy beautiful stuff to send us their information or news and we'll blast them like they need to be blasted. And I got a message from my good friend and Wes alum Zakia Henderson-Brown telling me about a poem she had written just the night before about flying peoples.

Ghosts and Politics

the mason dixon line
was found last night

flying through
the gray skies.....

Check the rest out at her habitat of crazy beautiful writing.. Sunshine during the madness .. at flyfury. she's the for realest my friends


Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown

Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown

This is a shout out for help. Almost a year ago, when brother James Brown made his transition, I posted the following Call for Poems about the impact his lifetime of music has had on anyone within the reach of the call. To date the “response” has been powerful but as of today—February 20, 2008, the number of poems submitted for consideration number less than 50.

Poets we need at least another 150 poems, to put together a strong anthology. I know a lot of people hit this drum. I’m asking each person who reads this call to “stop” and take a minute to forward it to at least “3” people they know who are either poets or who know poets.

If you belong to other listserves, consider helping us out by “posting” this call on it if possible.

If ya’ll don’t have a James Brown poem—consider writing one and sending it to us. I realize all things come in their own time, but on the practical side—books like these have their “time” too—

May 6, 2008, will mark a year the world’s been without James Brown. In his honor, get down—send us your James Brown poems today. Peace, Mary Weems

Dr. Mary E. Weems invites your submission:

Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown. Edited by: Mary E. Weems, and Michael Oatman.

We grew up on James Brown’s hit me! When he danced every young Black man wanted to move, groove and look like him. Mr. Brown wasn’t called the hardest workingman in show business because he wasn’t. Experiencing a James Brown show was like getting your favourite soul food twice, plus desert. His songs, like black power fists you could be proud of and move to at the same time. When Mr. Brown sang make it funky we sweated even in the wintertime. Losing him was like losing somebody in our family. This is a shout out for poems about the impact James Brown had on our lives. Poems that will help people remember, honour, and celebrate his legacy. Don’t be left in a cold sweat, send us your old and new James Brown poems today.

Submission Guidelines: 3-5 Unpublished and/or published poems with acknowledgement included. No longer than 73 lines. Deadline: April 30, 2008 (Receipt not postmark)

Send hard copies along with a Word Document and short bio on a CD to: Dr. Mary E. Weems / English Department / John Carroll University / 20700 North Park Blvd. / University Hts., Ohio 44118 / Send via e-mail attachment (Word Documents Only) to:,

Monday, March 24, 2008

still here though ya knows still here

I know we've been MIA for a sec. I'm following up on a range of things, friends and people I need to catch up with respond to, research, school work, etcetera. You know the makings of a living life. We're still here though. Still here!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

News: The Project in Wesleyan University Connection

We've been featured this week in The Wesleyan University Connection Newsletter, where I guess some know I'm in school.
Many thanks to writer Olivia Bartlett for gracing us with her words.

The PCF Project on W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News and Radio

This past Sunday, the 16th
The People Could Fly Project was featured on fellow
Memphian Ronald Herd's W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News and Radio..

Listen to the show at..

We begin at 90:00 min but check the whole show out,
Especially the beautiful music and voice of my friend and Wesleyan University alumna Nyasha Shani
at 87:00 min

Many thanks to Mr. Herd!
Check out his site at


Alisha Flight 1645

Yesterday evening on the way out from Washington (DCA) after visiting with a friend I was seated next to this young lady from Memphis on the plane. Honestly I could tell she was hometown from the jump..

So I told her a little bit about the project and asked her if i could ask her a few questions.
When I asked her if she had ever dreamed of flying she said, "no", but when I asked her what she wanted to do both now and when she got older, what her dream was, how she'd like to live life now and in the future, she said without pondering around the matter, "Live lavish."And when I asked her what that specifically meant to her she said,"Being able to not just be, but to be able to meet needs and do other things at the same time."
Memphis, TN

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rough draft: grant application

So I'm sending in this grant application tonight.. here's some of the rough draft of writing..
I mean.. shoot.. why keep it in a notebook?
The question was
Please submit information on why you have chosen a specific cultural identifier, for example, Native American tribal affiliation, Tibetan refugee, Masai, and what that identifier means to you. If you do not come from a minority culture or indigenous community, please submit documentation that you have been designated to speak for such a culture or community.

This is rough draft .. so some things have yet to be worked out.

In this project we are speaking for children and young people within the African Diaspora. We speak as an aspect of young people of color. We are speaking for ourselves and opening a way for our stories and realities to be shown to ourselves, among ourselves, and the world at hand.

There is a disconnect between children of the African diaspora, in that we don't always accept one another. In general We do not always see ourselves as beautiful, as powerful, as important and necessary agents in the world. Young black people do not usually see empowering images of other young people in Africa, in South America, anywhere for that matter. Many do not even know there are black populations in places like Suriname, Japan, or Brazil.

The predominate narrative told of young people on the African continent is one of poverty, despair, and a heavy and almost insurmountable hopelessness. How do you fix a whole continent? (Africa is portrayed, as a whole place you know?)

Growing up in Memphis, TN I knew and continue to know many black people and young black who do not want to be associated with Africa. A lot of young black people, in pre-school, elementary, junior high, and high school on a certain level just do not want to be associated with that story and on a certain level why would you? It seems painful and those are faces like yours looking back at you on the numerous news channels or the paid infomercials for aid. If you're a child or a young person developing yourself or finding out what life is, why would you? It's deep. It's a very deep thing.

(Where can we confront ourselves? When do we stop running away? from our own face.)

Are these the stories of our lives as young black people, as people of color? Are these stories and these narratives that we see and don't see in popular media who we truly are? Of course not. We are vibrant. We are alive. We're wonderful on all sides of the diaspora, from Paris to Brazil to Memphis to Mozambique. Why doesn't popular media portray this? Where are stories that show our lives and our living in a positive light. The stories you see of yourself, what you believe to be your reflection consistently effects how you view yourself and what you believe of your possibility. What does popular media say of young people of color and young people in the diaspora? What are we to expect of ourselves given this? Given the images and stories that are available of us, what kinds of lives would we all be living? I think adults have a responsibility to make sure that young people aren't exploited in the varying ways that can happen. I think both the singular presence of bad stories on the lives of young people of color/Africans and the horrible absence I've personally seen and experienced of positive, empowering, and changemaking images, films, and narratives about the lives of children and young people of color is a travesty.

One problem is simply that most stories about Africa are about bad things that may be happening there. They are current issues from an adult's perspective.
The other factor is that news channels are mainly where stories about Africa and its people are found.
They aren't found on Nickelodeon. They aren't found on MTV and not to a great extent on BET, all places where you have substantial youth markets. To a great degree they are not found in American movie theatres and when they are the theme is usually some crisis.
Fundamentally, there is a lack of balance on stories about Africa. Most of the media about Africa is

1. News based
2. From an adult perspective
3. From a political perspective
4. About crisis, poverty, and pain

What a travesty that is, that all young people of color see of themselves is literally bad news.
We want and need for our health

1. Stories that are positive and talk about dreams and aspirations
2. Stories that engage individuals as opposed to blanketed conceptions of people
3.Stories from a child/young person's perspective
4. Stories from a storytelling, fantastic, magical perspective

It leaves room for so much. It leaves room for media that will humanize and give real stories about young people in Africa, in America, in South America, wherever. Real conceptions of brilliance and not simply cries for aid or assistance that tell us bad things about ourselves consistently. That's too heavy a load. No wonder young black children turn their nose up at Africa. Black children need fantasy and magic too...

On another note when I was in Senegal in 06 I often wondered what kind of things Senegalese people my age where exposed to about Black Americans. One of the first things I was asked by one of the young Senegalese I met was if I knew about "the thug life". And one of the movies we watched in French while I was there- painful for me I'll have you know- was a dubbed copy of Soul Plane. Can you imagine hearing them speak that movie in french? Geez friggin Louise, my friends.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Some women live to fly

This'll be short, as I have a couple of grant applications I'm turning in tomorrow and a paper.. and one has to be wise.
But on being in limbo land while being insatiably hungry for some kind of living life,
some kind of being more or moving towards something or being ok:
on that, and the way i was feeling about what to do today about this project today and.. life also:

oNE Of my friends one MJkaufman, once said to me perhaps early junior year in one of those life convos you have with a friend

"in-between places are places"
and sometimes i listen for things like this..
and whether she knew it or not i remembered it and i wrote it across a whole page of a moleskin notebook either on the way to Atlanta for spelman homecoming or while i was actually there staying with my friend, CLR James herself currently in Morocco..

But i thought that had resonance and still do.. can we validate those moments when we don't think we are anywhere and don't have two hands and two feet touching something stable

i was kind of going crazy today at some point.. mainly after being on the computer too long..

The other quote worth quoting is a quote from my friend Lisa's ( who you shall likely find somewhere to the right of this post) email signature..

nothing is so valuable that it need not be started afresh, nothing is so rich that it need not be enriched constantly...

And I'm really feeling this today and perhaps everyday.
In my life these days I pretty much do this project, plan for this project, write people about this project, brainstorm about it, muse about, blast this project, throw this project against walls, and sometimes actually scream in my head and out loud from confusion, while sometimes also feeling very good.

I do that and go to school and check on family and friends.

I've been doing this for about.. 13 months now.. I was going through some of my emails and I wrote Arnold Adoff about it via email on exactly March 1st last year. And though i had been brainstorming and putting things together in my head and on paper that was a beginning of sorts of other people hearing about it and understanding.

But I've been doing this for over a year. And frankly I'm amazed and unamazed that I still want to do this or that it hasn't fallen off of my attention.
I'm amazed that I'm still interested in this folktale, that I haven't grown tired of it by now, that it still resonates for me, that its still powerful and important and helps me out.

That I still really feel something strong when I think about the implications of this story and its meanings, if and when and once this did and will happen,
this flight of people, in all realms..

It still gets me to think about the individuals who told this folktale originally during slavery times in America, that they told it,
and continued to tell it, and now it reaches me, and now I and others are telling it
in all the ways that we may, through voice, through movement or travel or flight, through

I mean it still gets me that this story was essentially someone's dream, who wanted to be free. It is a collective dream ( Do you think there are collective dreams?)
BUt it was someone's dream, like in their head at nighttime or in the daytime, some spark of a thing was born where no one could see it inside them, and then they told it, and more people told it because it was a part of everyone.. and became and already was many people's..dream.. or vision..or fantasy of reality..

yeah,it still gets me \ even when i don't know what to do next..
So I'm still here then, still here doing this project, still here. And we will take it where it needs to go, along with the many others who are and did and will, you know?

We'll keep the storydream, this story
of dreams going

ShoutING OUT the birthdays of my mother,
Wanda born on February 23rd!
My sister Aisha turned 8! on the 3rd of March and was born 1 pound, 3 ounces!
And Virginia Hamilton who was born on the 12th of March 1936.
And because it feels so right a little Komunyakaa.. to bless the occasion..

583Callaloo 28.3 (2005) 583
by Yusef Komunyakaa

Some women live to fly
Some metaphysical alibi
Hanging out with angels
Testing all the right angles of ascent
As the sky turns to smoke
Over Bosnia, Mozambique
Tiananmen Square
Outside the mystique
Some women need to fly
In their all night dreams
Around the aurora borealis
Somalia and Chechnya
From Beirut to Dallas
When the blue begins to unravel
It feels like
Out-of-body travel
I’m flying high
I’m flying high
I’m flying higher
Light years away
Midnight-blue day
Some women live to fly
Outside the subplot
Of the jet-set and Superman
Beyond the Golden Fleece
And flight motif
Above the Great Barrier Reef
And St. Elmo’s Fire
Into the heart of desire
Some women love to fly

Ashe to that!

limbo land to jacob's ladder

I'm at one of those moments where I'm figuring out what next to do, what next step to take, which direction in which I feel like going or should go.

I'm kind of in limbo land.

I know where I want to take this, but the next thing to do. what next to attack. or just walk in the direction of.. many things.



Thursday, March 13, 2008

Green For All Presents Dream Reborn, Memphis! TN

Oh, I'm so friggin excited for this. I just got a call on my phone from an Alana at Green For All.She'd left a message for my sister Kalimah telling us about
the Dream Reborn Conference going down April 4-6th in Memphis, TN.
That's right! Memphis, where we're from. So I'm pretty excited because Memphis really
could use some ideas like this. I'm superstoked and personally plan to tell everyone I know and plan to hop a plane back home from school when the time comes. Holla!
View the great reel below. Sign up too!

Big deal ok.. Big deal!

- I the Abioto!

Vision, Audre Lorde

“When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid”

“Our visions begin with our desires.”

Audre Lorde, 1934-1992

*Artist for the middle poster is Ricardo Levins Morales

Thursday, March 6, 2008

DREAMING. All Over the World.

New York, New York!

So, this was last November or December when we flew up to NYC for the "Here and Now" Conference: Black Media and Art at NYU. Personally, it was quite serendipitous. Not so much the conference, but the folks, sites, and scenes I happened to see like THIS young man and a girl I knew and had been thinkin about that I just magically happened to run into on the subway train. Funny how things happen...and we flew on.

Nashville TN Fisk University

So about an hour after having followed Ms. Nikki Giovanni around for basically the whole day (picking up laundry, scheduling a tree planting ceremony) we met this intelligent young lady outside of our doorway. She was blasting jams that happened to seep out into the hall. I think she was an RA, but we started in on a conversation with her. And this is what she had to say...

Djibouti, Djibouti Africa Aslie, Dear Aslie

This girl was mad crazy, way funny, and cute as a button. You wouldn't know it, but the first day we arrived in Djibouti I had my phone and mini video camera stolen and she made it her mission to get it back. She's the director of the sports, youth, and leisure ministries in Djibouti so she took us to her office and brings almost everybody in the room for questioning, profiling the driver, our hostess... everybody. We didn't understand what was said(French). I personally thought a fight was about to break out. Lol. But here she is ... and shout out to her cousins, who basically took us in like we were family and gave us some good eats.

To the director and her family!

New Orleans, Louisiana

You know what! There is no place like New Orleans. I don't care where you go, or where you've been. They are some of the livest, kindest folks I've met. This was on my 24-48 passport trip and these were some young high school dudes I ran into and started conversing with. Check em out. Keep supporting New Orleans y'all.

Tennessee State University

So, we've all heard of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Well folks, THIS IS NOT THEM.
While following Ms. Giovanni around we attended a luncheon for the National Association of Black Journalists where Giovanni gave a very controversial and provoking talk (I'll put the footage up soon). The TSU choir gave a beautiful performance and I got a nice little tour of the TSU media and performance center, which is pretty damn nice.

Fisk University Nashville, TN

These two young dudes were a breath of fresh air after having interviewed Ms. Giovanni, who's very opinionated. That's all I'm saying. They're from Chi-town, South Side, and they had a good spirit. Sometimes talking to people is like pulling teeth, but it was the opposite with them. We would have gotten deeper but my battery quit on me. So sad, too bad. Next time.

Red Sea. East Africa Nathalie, Sweet Nathalie

So the Assistant Director of the Africa Travel Association, if I'm correct, is from Haiti. On a trip to the Red Sea on the coastal area of Djibouti, we all of a sudden got into a conversation about music and she mentions Wyclef Jean, whose non-profit group she used to work for. We start talking about The Score and Gone Til November and on. Well, you know how music brings back memories...and this is what she said.
Shout out to Nathalie... Thanks for the advice.

Moving Along: People Moving: Think About it!

You know. Sometimes we gotta go back in time and remember. Remember what they did. Remember how they moved. Remember...
how they took the trains, down by ways, and highways
went on foot to and from rainy days
New York
This is how they went. This is what they took.
Today, we fly passed rainy days. Creating waves.


"Come along with me" SpringSummerStatus

A couple of things on this one.

Man, I've been rolling on this project for about a year now, pretty much non-stop, pretty much foremost in my mind , pretty much all the time.

So I'm taking a break for a couple of days..
then I'll be roaming around the country between the 9th and the 21st. I might just stop in where you are for a minute.. if you send me some info about where you'll be.. then i could try to come say hello to you

....or if you know some places that'd be interesting to go..
....or some people worth seeing..

2. This is a friggin work in progress. We're making this stuff up as we go along you know. For real. I just wanna say that. We on this stuff everyday.

3. Things've gotta get bigger around here. It was never our intention for it to just be us. There's a lot of things we're passionate about.

This summer we're looking for some fellow passengers..riders.
where are you going to be?
would you like to come where we're going?
where and how can we meet up and cross-connect in space ( if you haven't already guessed this project is about connections )
what can we do? where can we go?
where can we meet up and be face to face? ideas? let's make it happen.
we make way(s) around here.
let's play.

4. tHATS all For Now
more Later More SOon

-Intisar/this modern day flight crew

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nothing, Im sitting here at the computer kind of wasting time as I usually do getting excited about things that could happen while listening to some hopeful exctiting cluby music. I have to pee and I don't get call signals down here, so I know I've missed a friend's call cause she said she was gonna come back to campus real soon so we could study. But I still don't get up and out of this dark room away from these big mac computer screens cause I could get an email though I've checked it twice in the last half hour/ or I think about making a movie, one thats real big. or think about the people im gonna meet in the future. ...but my bladder is starting to get ridiculous so i guess i better quit this and get back to the real world. so thats where MY REALITY lies, TWEEN a fantasy internet land and getting some sh:)t done with my friend. hhmmmm Holla back if you know what I'm talking about. Kalimah PCFP continues

messages: bdl

An all-nighter provides a opportunity for introspection and innovation, whether it is spent studying, partying, overindulging, or deep in the morning, we have a way of finding ourselves in a new place--all i can say is have fun going there...enjoy the ride.

Here's a message I received from my cousin Eric during the night's sojourn in Bradley International Airport Friday..

Memphis morning back to Hartford

It's 6:30 in the morning here and I'm here listening to Nina Simone.
I don't really have a lot to say here, besides that sometimes I get a queasy feeling when
I have to leave out on a flight early in the morning.
Which I am doing.. this morning on the way back up to Hartford.
And there is also a curious feeling when one is about to leave home
as opposed to the coming..

goodness gracious

Monday, March 3, 2008

Wesleyan Argus piece

I was recently interviewed by the Wesleyan Argus about the project..
Many thanks to writer Annalee Pratt.. 

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Hi, Intisar
Got your e-mail that you're stranded in Hartford, but u didn't say why. Is it weather or overbooked flight, or something else? I like the way you seem to take it all in stride. Maybe a part of that comes from learning to enjoy the journey. I remember when I first started flying standby and a few times we didn't catch a flight, and I would get a little stressed out about it. But now, I seem to enjoy airports and watching people moving from here to there. If I manage to maneuver myself from one airline to another and get from one terminal to another to work my way home, that's fine, but if I don't, I just enjoy the journey.
Been reading your blog. Verrrrrry interesting reading, and lovvvvvve your pictures, too. I can see that Djibouti was quite an adventure. I enjoyed reading how it all came about. There's something about opening your mind up to possibilities that puts your body into motion to make things happen. ..
-Aunt Jayne

Handout from one of my dance courses

**I retyped this from a handout my dance professor handed out in class fall of 2006. I'd saved it and found it today while going through random things. I think it is relevant.. though I too am still trying to understand elements of this.

Space is the distance between two objects.

Space is produced rather than given
and hence political from the start"
It is composed of intersections of mobile elements.
It is in a sense actuated by the ensemble
of movements
within it'

Lucinda Childs' performance Street Dance (1964) required spectators to stand at a window and direct their attention to the sidewalk below, while a "taped minutely detailed description of the view was synchronized exactly to their actions" Sally Banes commented that "the performers acted as markers, not altering the environment, but
facilitating the spectator's discovery of it.

Space occurs
as the effect
produced by the operations
that orient it, situate it, temporalize it"

In Trisha Brown's performance, Roof Top (1973) dancers were scattered across so many rooftops that no viewer could possibly see all of them. Spectators had to choose where to direct their focus, in this way actively participated in the construction of the space.

"space is practiced place".

"an area provided for a particular purpose"

"A blank or empty area: the spaces between words."

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I'm in Memphis.
I'm really tired though.
More soon.


Indianapolis now

In a bizarre turn of events I am in Indianapolis.. saw the Indianapolis 500 to my right on the way in here..

life is strange..

I left out of Detroit trying to write the last post. We got into Detroit too late for me to catch my flight into Memphis..

I waited for the next flight out into Memphis.. then that one was overbooked.. or rather full.. I could've waited for the next one at 3, but the desk agent routed me here.

I've been taking pictures.. and musing..

Delayed: ThIS Sunrise

flight was supposed to leave at 6:01. its 5;58 am. they're pre-boarding now.
not yet sunrise but in honor of its arrival
amel larrieux
This one my friends.. is golden


For Your Widows in Paradise

It's 4:13 am and people are starting to come into the airport and get in line and stuff. and i'm sitting here listening to sufjan stevens.. For the Widows in Paradise.. there's something about this song that reminds me of a catch step or waltz or something..

Daughters of Destiny Film

From Daughters of Destiny Film
Daughters of Destiny

I love this pretty hard. I hope I can do this justice though I'm a little tired at the moment. I chanced upon this in the past two or three months and.. really liked it,

maybe because it kind of reminded me of my family.. though we are older than these girls.. I know what its like to have a lot of sisters.

They're beautiful ok. Check their film out.

Daughters of Destiny
Films end. Life continues.

The Daughters of Destiny film chronicled over seven years of our lives. Beyond the film, several online journals that Alyson and Langston have created to continue sharing their lives and their children's. These blogs have evolved from various forms and formats from simply a way to keep in touch with all of our friends and family to a brand new way of expression.

We invite you to read up on the real life lives of the family.

Daughters of Destiny