Savages: The Myths of Monsters

by Courtney Harris


     This will be the second in a series of exhibits with the purpose of empowering, educating, inspiring, supporting the artistic expression and economic success of people of color. As an artist, it has always been my goal to host accessible events within the community with this focus. My art has always addressed the concepts of self-identity, oppression, and rebellion/self-actualization. I have seen great opportunity to spread this beyond myself, and inspire others to lead their own revolution of the self in order to build a stronger community and free themselves from oppression based on systemic racism, affecting them economically, mentally, and emotionally. This has always been needed, and the reason for doing it now is because it is critically necessary in this time as we gain instant access to information and the documentation showing that this type of oppression still has it stranglehold in our society today. Only through education and achieving knowledge of self can unity be achieved, and the great minds and spirits of the oppressed awaken to build beyond it.

     This upcoming event will explore the concept of the savage, and how the practice of creating the idea of the “savage other” helped to further facilitate the Colonist’s role in acts of oppression, enslavement, and de-humanization; some of the most violent acts that one human being can commit against another. It will raise the question of who the actual savage is- the Colonizer or the Colonized? This will be a collaborative event representing artists of color; exhibiting work to address this theme, performances by poets, musicians, dancers, and allow for the selling of products and art to support their economic endeavors.

     The funds will be used to support the logistical execution of the show and pay for labor. In the city of Miami, venue rental alone would cost upwards of $1,500. Materials for hanging work, stage and audiovisual equipment rental, event promotion, and refreshments for guests of the event would also be necessary. All funds would go towards the physical execution of the event that would then allow artists and vendors to participate, sell work and products, and provide accessible outreach to the community.

     I would like to raise a minimum of $3,500 to produce this event. If this goal were to be exceeded, any extra funds would go towards a third event that is in the works with a focus on empowering youth ages 5-17, through the celebration of the self, with workshops focusing on the arts: music, dance/movement, visual art, literature, drama, and promoting education and love of their history and heritage.

     I thank all donors with the utmost sincerity and appreciation, for a donation to this project means that you believe in and support the oppressed, which so critically need the access to programs like this. Simple charity will not empower people, teaching that there is more, and giving the tools to determine what that “more” will be; does far more than dependence ever will.

     Thank you to all who support this project!