Category: Multimedia

Natural Hair Stories-Part Two

by Desire’ Jackson-Crosby and Cynthia Ntinunu

What is hair? Is it just a follicle on the top of one’s head? Or is it a piece of you that evokes certain feelings? The natural hair journey is a unique experience for anyone who goes through it. For some it’s a straightforward journey and for others there’s a lot to unpack.

This project allowed 11 people to relive and share their natural hair journeys-from their struggles to their triumphs. Below are the next three people for the natural hair stories series.

Yanni Cabrera

A Forever Phase

For senior Yanni Cabrera, natural hair is more than just a phase. It’s a part of her that has been straightened, cut, and growing alongside her while expanding her understanding of self. She refuses to change it to fit others’ standards of beauty. (Click the image above to read the full story)

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LGBTQIA+ Art Showcase and Performance Open Mic-A Space of Expression and Support

by Cynthia Ntinunu

On Tuesday Mar. 20, the Stonewall Center of the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosted a LGBTQIA+ Art Showcase and Open Mic night. Held in Bartlett Hall, the event was broken up into two parts.

The night started off with snacks and a gallery walk. The gallery featured over 15 artists with art pieces ranging from paintings, embroidery, photography, knitting, and more. People were able to walk through and admire the work that artists created as a rotation of chill music, like Solange’s latest album When I Get Home, played in the background.

Embroidery pieces by Antonia Lynch(Cynthia Ntinunu/Rebirth Project)
Continue reading “LGBTQIA+ Art Showcase and Performance Open Mic-A Space of Expression and Support”

Natural Hair Stories-Part One

by Desire’ Jackson-Crosby and Cynthia Ntinunu

What is hair? Is it just a follicle on the top of one’s head? Or is it a piece of you that evokes certain feelings? The natural hair journey is a unique experience for anyone who goes through it. For some it’s a straightforward journey and for others there’s a lot to unpack.

This project allowed 11 people to relive and share their natural hair journeys-from their struggles to their triumphs. Below is four of the 11 for part one of the natural hair stories series.

Uju Onochie

"I’m still on this journey."

Uju Onochie went to a predominantly white school for part of her childhood and she hated it. Being one of the few black kids in class, she remembered seeing the white girls’ hair and she’d play with it. Thoughts of “why can’t my hair be like this?” would circle her head as her fingers brushed through the girls’ hair. (Click the image above to read her full story)

Continue reading “Natural Hair Stories-Part One”

Sita Haran – A dance drama presented by the Indian Classical Arts Society (photos) 

By Isha Mahajan

The Indian Classical Arts Society at the University of Massachusetts Amherst performed “Sita Haran” at Bezanson Hall on Saturday, Feb. 23. The show was about retelling an epic story from the ancient Hindu text, Ramayana, about the abduction of Sita by the king of Lanka, Ravana.

The show was a compilation of acts performed in various Indian dance forms—Kathak, Odissi and Bharatanatyam—and music forms that were adapted from different parts of North and South India. The dancers were accompanied by live musicians from UMass Amherst and the Greater Boston area.

Ilina Shah, president of the Indian Classical Arts Society, said, “Sita Haran was a perfect story for this show because it was a short enough excerpt from the Hindu epic Ramayana which has been interpreted by dancers from many Indian classical dance and music forms. Each dancer and musician could develop their own unique take on the character they were playing.”

All of the artists have been trained in their music and dance styles for over five years. The acts that were performed through the evening were self-choreographed and took inspiration from set compositions that have been established in these varied dance forms. The use of live music and different facial expressions helped bring out the story and showed the creativity the artists used to execute the story. Sita Haran represented the diversity and relevance of mythology this is prevalent in Indian society.

Continue reading “Sita Haran – A dance drama presented by the Indian Classical Arts Society (photos) ”

“A Celebration of Black Art” open mic (photos)

By Sifa Kasongo

On Friday, Feb. 22, the Black Student Union and the
University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter of the NAACP gave students of color a space to celebrate Black art. The event, “Celebration of Black Art” was held in the New Africa House Theatre from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“It’s a chance to have people celebrate themselves,” said Marquise Laforest, president of BSU.

At this event, students of color had the opportunity to share their art — whether through poetry, rap lyrics, or singing.

Ashley Lopez Dishmey recites one of her own poems (Sifa Kasongo/Rebirth Project)
Continue reading ““A Celebration of Black Art” open mic (photos)”