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Crosscut | KCTS9 (Aileen Imperial)

Aileen Imperial is a multimedia and documentary producer and a 3-time Emmy winner for feature videos in the Arts, Culture, and Human Interest.

Natasha Marin is a conceptual artist whose people-centered projects have circled the globe since 2012 and have been recognized and acknowledged by Art Forum, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, NBC, Al Jazeera, Vice, PBS and others. This year, the City of Seattle and King County have backed BLACK IMAGINATION-- a series of conceptual exhibitions. Black Imagination has engaged (and paid!) black folks from all over the PNW region and the world-- amplifying, centering, and holding sacred a diverse sample of voices including LGBTQIA+ black youth, incarcerated black women, black folks with disabilities, unsheltered black folks, and black children. The viral web-based project, Reparations, engaged a quarter of a million people worldwide in the practice of "leveraging privilege," and earned Marin, a mother of two, death threats by the dozens. As a busy consultant and community builder, Natasha was listed as one of 30 women who "Run This City" by Seattle Met magazine in 2018. She is the curator of BLACK IMAGINATION: Black Voices on Black Futures (McSweeney's, 2020).


Artist Statement

RITUAL OBJECTS explores the relationship between the sacred and the profane-- what is the value of black joy in a world that increasingly commodifies blackness while refusing to acknowledge the complete humanity of black people?


Like my other conceptual art projects that involve community building, RITUAL OBJECTS is fully interactive and has come into manifestation with the support and invaluable contributions of black people who continue to show up in the world in a way that reasserts we are more than our trauma.


Black Joy is sacred. The practice of calling for, seeking out, and amplifying the often fleeting moments when we feel truly free and unbothered has had a profound resonance through my work. I have spent the better part of a year genuflecting to our collective grace. For me, this meant countless hours spent listening to our stories and making spaces that would center and honor our healing and our undeniable holiness. It is my hope that this work will continue to connect us to a deeper and more universal and interdependent Truth.

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