Delali Ayivor shows a commissioned work for Kunsthall Stavanger’s project #fromKStoyou. The work takes the form of a banner on the kunsthall’s building.
#fromKStoyou is an new and ongoing project by Kunsthall Stavanger initiated in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. Artists are asked to make works that can spread solidarity in this moment of time. While most of the projects take place on digital platforms – such as Kunsthall Stavanger’s website and Instagram – the banner is installed on the outside of the kunsthall’s building, located in the centre of one of Stavanger‘s traffic hubs. The banner is meant to bring art to the public in a safe and engaging way and is visible for the hundreds, if not thousands, of onlookers that pass the building on a daily basis.
been thinking lately/of Fela, is created by writer Delali Ayivor. In the start of the summer Ayivor spent most of her time launching a public accountability campaign about institutionalized racism in the arts with Equitable Futures Collective. For the writer it was a crash course in community organizing, radical empathy, and an opportunity to learn, grow and reflect.
Says Ayivor: “One thing that has been constantly on my mind in quarantine has been my upbringing on the Continent and how my parents instilled a radically Black and African sense of self-worth in me from a young age through the music of artists like Fela Kuti, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, Pharaoh Sanders and Bob Marley. It’s really fascinated me to hear songs that I’ve known and loved and screamed along to for years take on new meaning in this cultural moment.
I’ve also been thinking deeply about processes of translation, and the ephemeral – but fundamental – things that get inherently lost when we try to make ourselves understood. It feels related somehow to watching my body change in quarantine, as I’ve been taking out all my aggression and frustration in exercise.”
Delali Ayivor is a Ghanaian-American writer. As a contemporary postcolonial subject, Ayivor creates from the locus of disjuncture, writing through the complexifying tangles of our increasingly globalized world.
Ayivor is a 2011 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a former associate artist in residence with experimental sound poet Tracie Morris at Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and an attendee of the 2019 Tin House Winter as well as 2020 Tin House Summer Workshops. In Spring 2019 she was named the inaugural writer-in-residence at the STONELEAF Retreat in Kingston, New York. Her work has been published most recently by The Rumpus. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Ayivor was meant to teach a workshop this spring at Kunsthall Stavanger’s youth program Mobilizing Citizenship. The semester, which has been postponed, is curated by artist and organizer Lee Heinemann.