I am a non-binary, femme-identifying, pansexual, first generation Liberian-American multidisciplinary creator + transmutor, revolutionary, and Ethereal Being which has put me directly oppositional to the polarizing world of paradoxes that I was born into. Many of my projects, such as my residency Death Becomes Her (2018) speak to the imminent dangers that may befall identities that have been criminalized within the prevailing paradigm of colonialism.
My family set roots down on the East Coast of the United States after the 1980 assassination of my grandfather, which catalyzed 30 years of civil unrest in our home country. Many of our family members and friends lost their lives either through the disruption that the coup & two civil wars caused or very literally. In the 14 years that followed, both of my parents sustained massive trauma and burned through their inheritances, rendering our family broke. While I came from a legacy of prestige, I lived a life that was characterized by trauma, poverty, and displacement.
I was always other and I always knew that. I was deeply alienated as a child in every setting I was in being not only sexually & gender-queer but as an outspoken, dark-skinned female deeply invested in the mystical who never attempted to hide my intelligence or opinions. Other than my siblings, I had never met anyone who had a similar life experience, and if they did, they weren’t speaking on it. I felt I needed to hide myself until I could escape the bourgeoisie setting of Montgomery County, MD that I grew up in.
While I used media to escape the bourgeoisie suburbs and parochial, old-world upbringing I was imprisoned in, confusion about my identity stemmed from a lack of representation in not only the world around me but the very same media that I felt was saving my life. As someone who has always identified with the vibrant, curious, fearless nature of youth culture, I tethered myself to provocative portrayals of youth culture in print and on screen.
My relocation to New York City at seventeen-years-old, I was exposed to the harsh realities of the world that the facade of their hometown veiled in microaggressions and superficial solutions to deeply entrenched social issues. I came to meet many other people like me, people that prior to moving I’d only seen or interacted with online. I decided then that my community deserved to have our own stories told and I wasn’t going to wait for anyone else to do it, least of all to do it right. No more children who were being deemed unworthy by society’s standards should have to go through life believing that false narrative.
Just as Gregg Araki’s queer films of the ‘90s liberated me in my late teens and Audre Lorde's poems provide me with a panacea to all my issues, I create media for those people whose lives have been relegated to the darkness, shining light on narratives and stories that have long been ignored but are so deeply important and need to be told.