Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Salon Discussion of Ambiguity, Race, Identity

April 6, Friday, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Dr. Kaung's Salon: "Who Am I?" Art as a Mirror of Pre-Judgment

Discussion of that impertinent urge to identify each other, even strangers, by “race” with Bijan Bayne and J. Tomiko Anders.

In our "rush" to judgment, and desire to have a "place" for everything, and for everything a place, we race to identify people. When we cannot define their place, we wonder who they are? Definitions based on complexion, context, and conception fall apart before the reality that the myriad genes swimming in our respective pools express themselves in more ways than we ever could. To answer the question that decorum forbids we ask a stranger on the street, Kyi May Kaung's exhibition of "ethnically ambiguous" portraits, accompanied by writer and historian Bijan C. Bayne's captions, in turn ask the viewer a question: "Who Am I?"

The author of Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball, Bijan is working on a documentary called “Show People” about the history and practice of exhibiting people of color as exotics. He teaches travel writing at The Writer's Center (Bethesda).

Photo taken at Kefa Cafe by Melinda Jane White.