Cultural Identity

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 Daniel Poppick and Jenny Zhang
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“What do you do when you’re born—without your consent—and you find out later that your life was at the cost of someone else’s? That’s how high the stakes can be.”

Wu Tsang & boychild by Tess Altman
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“It’s about creating the conditions for a moment.”

Zinzi Clemmons’s What We Lose by Yasmin Roshanian
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Mourning seeps in like water, but Clemmons skillfully draws on the humor that stems from the duality of conflicting cultures. Her prose is funny, fragile, and unflinchingly candid.

Theoretically Personal by Sarah Hoenicke
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Resisting confession in Yiyun Li’s Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

Hunger for Wholeness by Jenessa Abrams
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Deconstructing self-made myths in Melissa Febos’s Abandon Me

Edmundo Paz-Soldán by Scott Esposito
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“Breaking away from magical realism ended up creating another stereotype: that of a generation obsessed with mass media, new technologies, and disdainful of politics.”

Stephen O’Connor by Melody Nixon
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”In a way, I am like some demented lawyer seeking only to get a hung jury—with the saving grace being that, when the truth is not obvious, people tend to do their most profound and significant thinking.”

Frederick Wiseman by Nicholas Elliott
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“The best comedy is sad comedy.”

Nari Ward by Lee Jaffe
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Ward’s Jamaican roots and home in Harlem have been recurring themes in his numerous installations. He speaks with Jaffe about three key works.

Two Poems by Tyehimba Jess

They said I wasn’t smooth enough / to beat their sharp machine.

Cherien Dabis by June Stein
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Dabis wrote her film Amreeka, in theaters now, in response to her family’s Arab-American experience. An immigrant’s tale, the search for a better future in the Promised Land is full of seismic changes.

Teju Cole by Aleksandar Hemon
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“Yes, I believe in life online, the way a person in 1910 might believe in aviation, or a person in 1455 might believe in movable type: with excitement and apprehension.”

lessLIE and Rande Cook by Kyra Kordoski
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First Nations artists lessLIE and Rande Cook curate a four-person exhibition that looks at indigenous identity, cultural re-appropriation, and cross currents of traditions.

Trans-Siberian Brooklyn by Sophie Pinkham
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How the films in BAM’s TransCultural Express: American and Russian Arts Today shed light on the similarity between Siberia and Brooklyn.

Kenya (Robinson) by Lee Ann Norman
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Kenya (Robinson) reflects on the end of her MFA program and becoming a professional artist.

The Tragic Last Stand of the Skyhorse Clan by Brando Skyhorse
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Brando Skyhorse peels away layers of presumed identities and discusses recent books about Native Americans.

Mohsen Namjoo by Shirin Neshat
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As a young musician, Mohsen Namjoo first captivated Iranians’ attention with his magnificent album Toranj from 2007.

Cihan Kaan’s Halal Pork and Other Stories by Amiel Alcalay
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Cihan Kaan’s Halal Pork and Other Stories is a near-future whirlwind of contemporary geopolitics blended with fantastical story telling that is humorous, well-written, and dizzying.

Attenberg by Clinton Krute
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In Attenberg, filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari tells the story of a young woman’s coming-of-age while highlighting the political situation in Greece and the age-old clash between our human and animal instincts.

Mickalene Thomas by Sean Landers
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I met Mickalene Thomas a decade ago at the Yale University School of Art and liked her instantly. She was a standout for her energy, drive, open–mindedness, and raw talent. For this interview I visited her in her Brooklyn studio where we were surrounded by a half dozen or so of her new paintings in various stages of development.

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