Kentifrica (Ken-tif-rica) is a contested geography/continent that Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, is developing an educational and research platform for. Through re-creating artifacts and sharing narratives and customs from her research archives, Hinkle reconstructs a Kentifrican identity that invites a critical engagement of the intersections of: collective vs. personal histories, Diaspora, migration, immigration, cross-culturalism and issues of geography. Through the embodiment of various voices and modes of address, Hinkle examines what happens to bodies in transit and how they are contextualized culturally depending upon historical hegemonic signifiers of race and culture.
The Kentifrica Museum of Culture is an extension of the Kentifrica project in which it is a living artwork that utilizes collaborations with members of local & contemporary artistic communities and individuals who do not formally identify as artists, to explore real and imagined Diasporas and the conflicts that arise from issues of visibility within the documentation and display of mainstream history.
The Kentifrican Museum of Culture is a safe place for all cultures, genders, sexual orientations, classes and life experiences to have a dialogue about history, identity and acceptance. The conceptual premise of the museum is that it can shapeshift and take on various forms and modes as it engages with communities nationwide. The museum can take residence in an abandoned telephone both, the back seat of my car, a row house built during the Reconstruction Era in Houston, TX (Project Row Houses) etc. The shape shifting component of the museum creates a metaphor in relationship to Diasporic traditions that have had to adapt to various environmental conditions ensuing complex migration patterns and the elusive search for creative avenues to keep one’s culture and history alive.
The Kentifrica Museum of Culture has been featured at several highly reputable art institutions and has presented several lectures, exhibitions and workshops with youth in the following communities: Project Row Houses in Houston, TX, California Institute of the Arts, Juxtapositions Art Center in St. Paul, MN, The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA and the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, PA. This iteration of the project will be the first time that the Kentifrica Museum of Culture will have a space to host all of its components in the same place for an extended period of time.
Our next location:
It is my goal for the museum's next location to utilize a storefront space in historic Leimart Park Village. Leimart Park Village is sometimes referred to as the "Harlem of the West Coast" in which it houses various sub-cultures of the African Diaspora. This space and location is essential to the growth and nourishment of the project. Within the Leimart Park Village The Kentifrican Museum of Culture will be right at home due to the conceptual structure of the project that provides a research based and discussion platform to challenge notions of self invention, Diaspora and cultural geographies that are constructed and remixed historically and daily within communities. The community is rich in Afrocentric ideas and actions via festivals, food, drum circles, film screenings and artwork. People within the Leimart Park Village community created their own drum circles, marketplaces and educational centers in order to keep their cultural identities alive and I would love to be able to use Kentifrica as a framework to explore ideas concerning the preservation of visible and invisible histories.
Utilization of the space:
With the proper support and funding the Kentifrican Museum of Culture will be able to provide events that are free to the local community and that encourage participation in order to complete the events. Community members will have a safe place to have critical dialogues concerning the constructions of culture, ethnicity and social geography through participation in panel discussions, art openings, free workshops, and open film screenings.
The museum will host monthly collaborative events that consists of:
- Panel discussions with Kentifrican scholars, members of the community, African studies scholars, leading contemporary artists, students and educators.
- Free instrument building workshops with local youth. Musical performances that feature all original Kentifrican instruments.
-Experimental musical performances that intermingle various cultural traditions. Collaborations with local music venues.
-Themed potlucks and Kentifrican cooking classes.
- Rotating displays of artifacts from the community that are re-contextualized by members of the community.
-Bookmaking workshops that will allow attendees to write their own stories about unknown histories.
- Open film festivals and screenings
-Collaborations with local galleries and local businesses.
We would like to utilize the storefront for 12 months: 1 month to prepare the space + 10 months of programming + 1 month to close the space out. We would also like to utilize the funds to create a publication that will have transcriptions of conversations from the panel discussions, writing samples from the workshop and images. Our goal is to document the space so that people will be able to conduct their own research from our archive.
Support thus far:
We have already won a $10,000 grant from the Social Practice in Art (SPArt organization) but that will not be enough to cover the rent & to do free programing for a whole year. We need your to help us to create an enriching opportunity for world creation and cultural reflection!
Some Kentifrican Artifacts that we will feature:
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges if we do not make our goal is that we will not be able to provide FREE public program, rent the space and pay modest stipends to collaborators who will be sharing their knowledge, technical skills and energy to help us properly document the project. The museum will not be able to have a safe home base to set up foundational roots in the community and to be able to have a space to maximize the possibilities for real collaboration and creating lasting relationships to continue to grow and build upon.
You are shouting "KENTIFRICA IS REAL PEOPLE!" at the top of your lungs and showing the proof on your custom 11 x 17 World Map that shows Kentifrica's scale + Your name will be added to the donors wall in the museum.
You are a Kentifrican Linguist: Receive a hand made thank you card written in the ancient Kentifrican language of Doucksheel + an 11 x 17 World Map that shows Kentifrica's scale + Your name will be added to the donors wall in the museum.
You are an aspiring collector of everything Kentifrican: Show your friends your limited edition Kentifrican Museum of Culture Collection Postcard set featuring 10 postcards images from artifacts within the Kentifrican Museum of Culture's archive + Previous rewards
Receive a 18 x 24 painting on canvas of a Kentifrican Man or woman or child + a hand made thank you card written in the ancient Kentifrican language of Doucksheel + an 11 x 17 World Map that shows Kentifrica's scale + Your name will be added to the donors wall in the museum.
You are a preserver of Kentifrican History and Culture: You will become an honorary Board of Directors member. Your name will be printed in the thank you section of anything associated with the museum.