Why did the City of Philadelphia bomb its Black Citizens on May 13, 1985 @ 5:27pm?
The Black Body Curve is a free-access, multi-media, web-collection of poetry and digital art. It is an extended meditation on the question: Why did the City of Philadelphia bomb its citizens on May 13, 1985 at 5:27pm?
The Black Body Curve examines relationships between pathological power structures and Black Bodies/Black-ness. It contemplates the amount of life/time spent processing one's relative position within the context/complex of Black-ness. It pokes at the difference between historical record and lived memory. It seeks poetic signs of life in the experience of the individual, the culturally-aligned or mis-aligned community member and the politically active or acted-upon citizen. It wonders how perceptions of Black-ness inform consciousness and how that consciousness equates to one's position as a perpetrator and/or recipient of racially motivated violence.
The Black Body Curve is deeply rooted in the imagination of place: Philadelphia, both the mythic City of Brotherly Love, the so-called "cradle of American Democracy" and its grittier urban self: the thoroughly segregated, meticulously policed "city of neighborhoods." It looks out from its home-sense to question/ challenge/resist the global construction and condition of Black Bodies/Black-ness, especially as they are misinformed and misrepresented in the public domain.
Ultimately, no capital-T-truths emerge. No equilibrium is attained. The artist and the city are still divided. The engineers and perpetrators of the bombing of West Philadelphia have gotten away with it. Most have risen to the highest echelons of government/power, while many neighbors remain refugees from home or locked in battle with the city over faulty rebuilds/condemned properties. It is, perhaps, easier to arrive at what happened than to understand how and why. Whatever can or cannot be accounted for, the stink of race and class and history and forgetfulness are on it, on us.
Our silence and failure to teach and/or recount the awful story is easier to understand. Who wants to acknowledge and pass down the truth of how easily we are annihilated, how often...
The Black Body Curve is an homage to Black-ness, a "cry of art" in Commemoration of the May 13, 1985 Bombing of West Philadelphia.
The free and open format seeks to eliminate any taxable exchange between artist and audience, to consciously and actively resist structures that fund and facilitate global war and war-mongering.