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Antebellum & the

Pompadó

Welcome,

This page is specially designed for the online publishing of my thesis essay for my bachelor's degree "Artist Educator in Theatre" at ArtEZ Academy of Art. 

I decided to upload it to my website to make my research accessible to everyone who would like to acquire knowledge of the process of decolonising a form of art in an interactive, confrontational manner.

The interactive part of my thesis essay is in a video-documentary interview where I ask some detailed questions and ponder for a real, honest answer. Consider this essay more of a "where I now stand" rather than a "hard and unchangeable statement".

Your sincere,

Pompadó Z.R. Martha

A short introduction of my thesis essay

Every thesis has its antithesis,  and those two procreates a synthesis; the synthesis is on its own a thesis again, which will have an antithesis that will reproduce a synthesis, again. This process is a continuous movement in which, if that merger keeps procreating, a revolution can be born out of it.

Raised on dreams and boundless curiosity, I entered the art world with the naivete of a child. But as a Black artist, I soon discovered a harsh reality. My artistic journey became a constant battle against preconceived notions and the need to prove my worth beyond the label of "Black artist." This thesis delves into the complexities of navigating this dual identity, weaving together my artistic expression with the fight for equity and a space where I can simply be an artist, unburdened by societal expectations. It's a story of self-discovery, artistic exploration, and a powerful voice challenging oppressive systems, all in pursuit of creating art that transcends labels and ignites change.

As I grew up, I found a new love; "The thin line between science and art". I signed up to be a facilitator for the 'why' and the 'why not' and got enrolled into the paradox of time, space, and matter with each decision made. I created new universes of possibilities to be admitted into being a candidate of "HOPE"; I aspired to be an Artist.

 

It should be a dialogue; how better to have a dialogue than to be a leading learner? To be open to it while practising ethnography.

History is a crucial part of why I do stuff and how I came to the inspiration to make it, etc. I found myself in a position where everything I do has to be a conscious choice.

I already know the answer to that question because my art is decolonised, queer, non-dual, Afro-Caribbean, toxic-masculinity-repellant, confrontational, interactive, and a search for equity. My name is Zaërick, and this is my antebellum.

The Antebellum

Sources & Literature

I emphasize intellectual engagement, and my educational philosophy, echos the proverb "Only when the student is ready will the teacher appear.", as I believe knowledge empowers and emphasizes active engagement.

Just as in literature, where diverse perspectives shape personal understanding, I believe individuals flourish when they actively seek knowledge. Throughout this thesis, I devoured over 15 books on decolonization, emancipation, and Afro-futurism, seeking the "why" behind my artistic pursuit of equity.

Through literature, I try to showcase diverse perspectives, which leads to exploring new areas—a beautiful journey.

My research, encompassing books on decolonization, emancipation, and Afro-futurism, fueled my artistic pursuit of equity.

Am I a "BLACK" artist, or an Artist?

As an educator, I believe in fostering hope and sharing knowledge responsibly. While teaching, I realized my ethnicity resonated deeply with students of colour, sparking questions about representation and its impact. This experience led me to explore the influence of identity on both myself and my art and the importance of understanding diverse perspectives in fostering meaningful dialogue. My research delves into these complexities, acknowledging the impact of race while striving for a future where artists are seen for their art, not just their skin colour.

Part of being an educator is knowing what knowledge you know or don't know and being open to learning new things. And I believe in the non-duality that can bring people closer without fearing whether it is good or bad. I am asking people how they perceive me so I can have a better approach to dialogue because how people see me defines how they can be taught and interact with me. And for I know how they see me, I'd know what tools to use to inspire them (and myself).

My journey as an educator has been profoundly transformative. I believe in the power of knowledge and the responsibility that comes with sharing it. By openly acknowledging the impact of race on my own experience, I believe I can move forward with greater understanding and contribute to breaking down barriers towards a brighter, more inclusive future.

So I asked people, "Am I a black artist or an artist?" and these are their answers.

Am I "Accepted" or  "Tolerated"?

My artistic journey in the Netherlands began with hope and possibility. Admitted to four different art programs at ArtEZ, I chose theatre education, excited to explore its diverse possibilities. However, this initial sense of belonging was shattered just three weeks in, when a racial slur jolted me into the harsh reality of my "otherness." This experience, unfortunately, became a recurring theme throughout my academic years. Comments about my solitude and cultural differences, coupled with the feeling of being tolerated rather than accepted, chipped away at my sense of belonging.

This struggle for acceptance fueled my artistic expression. I felt compelled to create art that addressed the concept of decolonization, aiming to educate and foster understanding. Through open and honest dialogue, I believe we can bridge the gap between cultures, learning to appreciate our differences as strengths. Just like seasoning enhances a meal, our unique perspectives can enrich the tapestry of society.

I pose a question: would your perception of me differ if you were Black? This exploration is not meant to evoke guilt but to spark a conversation necessary for building a more equitable and inclusive future. By understanding each other's experiences, we can move forward with empathy and create a world where everyone feels truly seen and valued. This conversation is crucial to creating a more equitable and inclusive future.

What do I need to do to maintain being a 

Pompadó

Despite initial struggles to navigate cultural differences at ArtEZ, I persisted in expressing my identity and challenging colonial perspectives through my art. This journey wasn't always smooth, forcing me to balance self-expression with acceptance. My artistic exploration culminated in the question: "How do I maintain being myself?" This became the driving force behind my work and continues to be relevant as I graduate and enter the world.

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