https://360degreesound.com/author-ayanna-dozier-on-janet-jacksons-the-velvet-rope/ 360°Sound caught up with writer, artist, lecturer and curator Ayanna Dozier about her new 33 1/3 book on Janet Jackson’s classic 1997 album The Velvet Rope, which spawned the hits “Together Again,” “I Get Lonely” and “Got ’til It’s Gone.” Dozier is a PhD candidate at McGill University in Montreal. Her dissertation, Mnemonic Aberrations,traces the history of Black feminist experimental short film in the U.S. and the U.K. from 1968 to today. Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope is out now on Bloomsbury Press.
Scholar, filmmaker and performance artist Ayanna Dozier examines the trajectory of Janet Jackson’s career through the lens of control. Dozier explores beyond desire for economic and creative control and dives into the existential question of desire to be in control of one’s own bodily integrity as a Black woman.
New Experimental Short, Softer (2020)
Softer examines the demands of “softening” that are requested of Black women’s bodies in society—from job prospects to romantic ones—be that in their voice, their manners, and, critically, their hair. The experimental short plays upon the grooming rituals of softening that are terrifyingly rough through a recreation of a perm by a permanent wave machine (popular in the 1930s-1950s).
Upcoming Screenings + Press:
9/12-9/15 Open City Documentary Festival (with Q+A)
Repurposed found and archival materials prompt a series of fascinating dialogues across generations exploring forgotten histories, memories of colonial trauma, and gentrification as cultural erasure. Total runtime: 104’ https://opencitylondon.com/events/shorts-between-generations-qa/
BEGONE WITH THE WIND: HOW HOLLYWOOD REWRITES SLAVERY
This article was published in Fantasy Issue #87 Summer 2020, Bitch Magazine
Since their creation, narrative films have been altering the imaginary landscape of our past, our current lives, the future, and what we even imagine as possible. Consciously or not, cinema largely shapes our perception of historical events, so even our understanding of slavery is influenced directly by a filmmaker’s fantasy. White subjectivity in films such as Gone with the Wind (1939), Sally Hemings: An American Scandal (2000), 12 Years a Slave (2013), and Harriet (2019), among others, is criticized not for taking liberties but for its effect on remaking white identity within our cultural perception of slavery … https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/hollywood-rewrites-slavery-melodramas
Art: “Muse” from the series Antebellum Atelier
For the month of September, 100% of the profits from this song and any other tracks from Blake's catalog on Bandcamp will be donated to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund in support of the protests in Kenosha. bit.ly/mkefreedomfund
Critical Thinkers Workshop Lecture Series
Over the summer, I started a series of critical thinkers workshop lectures to teach and share political educational resources with others. I plan on continuing this series through the Fall on a monthly basis with lectures being spilt into two parts over two days. The next session will focus on Saidiya Hartman and will discuss archives as a method of rewriting history and her concept of natal alienation, which defines the absence of kin relations constructed for Black women within our social imaginary.
Previous sessions include Sylvia Wynter, Frantz Fanon, and bell hooks. Wynter 2/2 (Culture and Labor), bell hooks 1/2 (On Representation) and 2/2 (Feminist Pedagogy) were all recorded and links for them are available upon request. These sessions are and will remain free but donations are welcomed. Message me through any platform to sign up or receive a recorded link.