“Blockadia is a separatist political and cultural landscape designed as an intergalactic safe space for people of color. It is here for you to gather, learn and organize together. Please come and take care of yourself and each other. Then we can all set white supremacy on fire.”
-Intergalactic Blockadian Separatist Party
In 2016, reports of unknown structures surfaced in Madison, ME and Philadelphia, PA. Attaching themselves to existing architecture, these forms grew rapidly, constructing their own walls and ceilings. These spaces, deemed “portals”, were for people of color ready to discover their true autonomy. Folks, skeptical at first, gave it a shot. The portals opened them to a cosmic landscape called Blockadia.
Formed from remains of people, places and ideas, Blockadia hovers over the Caribbean. It molds itself in the cosmos with the intention of serving the needs and desires of people of color living throughout the universe. The main inhabitants, Pollinators, are ex-Earthlings who left in pursuit of an autonomous place. After witnessing the death of Michael Brown, Blockadia opened in solidarity, becoming an intergalactic refuge for people of color.
In 2017, individuals throughout the Philadelphia area discovered new....abilities; super strength, telekinesis, teleportation, and sudden fluency in black magic, to name a few. Many of the individuals did not know each other or have much in common, except for the fact that they were all people of color. Although, each person did have dreams or memories of pink and black goo, diamond-shaped stars and a lot of people dressed like ninjas or Zapatistas. Could these people be connected to the mysterious structures?
As an Afro-Latino, race and identity are intrinsic in this body of work. Blockadia engages these ideas through creative myth-making and world building. By creating symbols, characters, and mythologies, ideas of race, gender and place-making become less politically explicit and more fantastical. As Blockadia’s mythologies transition from paintings and drawings to interactive installations, I will turn the island into a true space dedicated to the needs and wants for our galaxy's people of color. I believe now, more than ever, these spaces are needed to ensure the collective safety and and prosperity of our people.