jamilah malika abu-bakare, artist – Vancouver
currently based on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (or what is known as Vancouver), jamilah malika abu-bakare is an artist and writer contemplating refusal, repetition, dedication, and intimacy through sound art, video essay, text off-page, and/or installation. whatever the form, she centres Black women with care and tends toward listening over looking. her work has played or shown from Berlin to LA, and across Canada, including Contemporary Field Gallery (Vancouver,) Circuit Gallery (Toronto), and Artscape (Peterborough). her writing most recently appeared in Canadian Art magazine. she is one of four artists included in Montreal’s Art Pop exhibition Calling Planet Earth!
while this could totally be read as a plug, it’s honest: this project has been my obsession of late. for me, sound art is freedom. i have big hopes, dreams, and feels about it. one is to clue people into BIPoC sound artists. this is my first of, i imagine, many attempts.
- writing 500 words every day
i recently relished reading Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi and they describe writing 500 words every day (or writing for ten minutes, whichever comes first) as magic, as a spell you can cast to realize your dreams as a writer. powerful, practical advice.
- talks on YouTube by brilliant Black thinkers
i play these in the background while i’m cooking, cleaning, or folding laundry. the voices and insights are soothing and stirring. open tabs on my laptop currently include Dionne Brand, Joy James, Sebene Selassie, and Arthur Jafa.
- purple yam Melona bars
the Shoppers Drug Mart near me sells these individually for 99c and i buy one every other day because No Frills only carries the melon or mango flavours by the box. is it the lilac hue? is it the creamy, earthy flavour? i just… need it.
- shea butter for my over-sanitized hands
in a pinch i use nipple balm because i’m currently breastfeeding. i pause, close my eyes, breathe in all four directions while one hand massages the other. it’s a whole self-care meditation moment. pro tip: coconut oil is a sealant, not a moisturizer. you’re welcome.