Free Your Mind is a public textile art project aiming to collect, exhibit, embed and release personal narratives about Microaggressions in a multi-sensory installation facilitated by artist Theda Sandiford.
Microaggressions are subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — everydayinteractions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups. The weight of these daily interactions underpins very real consequences… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility.
This project intends to expose these interactions and provide a release for the participating individuals. Participants are invited to write a story about a microaggression they have experienced onto a ribbon and tie this ribbon onto a netto release this story from their personal narrative. This is a story ribbon.
The installation evolves with each new story ribbon, keeping a public record of disempowering interactions, that can be exposed and talked about. Participants have the feeling of being seen and acknowledged while interacting with the work. In the installation space, as visitors move throughout the space, motion sensors trigger monotone computer voice recordings of story ribbons.
In 2021 Free Your Mind toured, collecting story ribbons in Bayonne NJ, Jersey City NJ, Sunsets @ The Standard, Miami Art Week. In 2022 the installation will travel to ExpoChicago April 4-7 Navy Pier and will make stops in Brooklyn and Newark this year.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Interested individuals, institutions and businesses can support the project by engaging themselves and/or communities to collect story ribbons
SHARE YOUR STORY >>
Share a story about a microaggression you have experienced? How did it make you feel?
The New Jersey Arts Annual is a unique series of exhibitions highlighting the State’s visual and performing artists. It is open to any artist currently living or working in New Jersey. In partnership with major museums around the state, one exhibition takes place each year, alternating between host institutions.
The Arts Annual series is sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.
This exhibition opens to the public at the Newark Museum of Art on June 17.