Southbound: Dasan Ahanu
Sit + Chat with Dasan Ahanu
In Conjunction with the Southbound Exhibition
Join us for a series of conversations with local thinkers and doers as they engage with photographs from Southbound through discussions that impact our lives. Dasan Ahanu is an artist, educator, scholar, and community organizer born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to performing across the country, Dasan has hosted or coordinated many Poetry, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Cultural Arts events. Working as an organizer around such issues as literacy, social injustice, workers rights, domestic violence, and sexual assault, he has assisted institutions and organizations in coordinating programming, trainings, and art-based projects intended to engage the community. His work has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), where he is noted for his appearances on “News and Notes with Ed Gordon” and “State of Things with Frank Stasio.” His writing is featured online and in print publications. He has been showcased on NBC 17, featured on the third season of Lexus Verses and Flow aired on TV One, and in a documentary entitled, “Poet Son” that aired on WUNC-TV as a part of the North Carolina Visions film series. He has released numerous spoken word recordings and published three books of poetry. Dasan is a resident artist with the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC, where he has developed poetry and spoken word programming for youth and adults. He is co-founder and managing director of Black Poetry Theatre, a Durham-based theatre company that creates and produces original poetry and spoken word based productions. In 2004 he was awarded an Indy Arts Award by Independent Weekly Magazine for his work in arts and activism. Then in 2015, he was awarded the honor again, the first time in the award’s history that has happened. Dasan is also an alumni Nasir Jones Fellowship with the Hip Hop Archive at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. He is a noted scholar whose academic work is focused on critical writing, creative writing, Hip Hop, and popular culture. Currently, Dasan is a visiting professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC, where he teaches courses on Hip Hop and Black culture.
The Sit + Chat series is held in collaboration with Be Connected, a community initiative connecting audiences, addressing disparities, fostering equity, and bridging understanding through the arts, culture, music, and politics. Free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Power Plant Gallery and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.
About the Event Series
Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South is presented by the Power Plant Gallery in collaboration with Duke’s Forum for Scholars and Publics and the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University. In this iteration, guest curator Randall Kenan, author and NC native, organizes the many framed photographs of the exhibition around the twin themes of Flux, on display at the Power Plant Gallery, and Home, on display at the Gregg Museum. The full program of events includes slow tours, film screenings, “Sit + Chat” sessions, and FSP@PPG panel discussions that engage with the issues in and around the works of art and explore the topics, places, and styles of Southbound. Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts in Charleston, South Carolina, and curated by Mark Long and Mark Sloan. Visit the exhibit online at southboundproject.org.
“The ideas and problems which have dogged the South from the beginning are still afoot: race and the legacy of slavery; the bloody blunder that was secession and the Civil War; a powerful fondness for Jesus and the Protestant religion; a particular food culture tied directly to the agricultural bounty that sprang from that very landscape.” —Randall Kenan, quoted in Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, Forum Online
“Before you start, know what you’re trying to achieve with the photo. Have a goal in mind, and think through what you need to do to get there.” —Titus Brooks Heagins, quoted in Titus Brooks Heagins Visits DSA, Forum Online
“McNair Evans produces choreographed works. He orchestrates photos after establishing relationships with his subjects, giving him the ability to capture images of vulnerable moments.” —Cydney Livingston, Photography as Choreography: Confessions for a Son, Forum Online