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A Beautiful Struggle


A Beautiful Struggle: Black Feminist Futurism
Feb 21 – Jun 14, 2020

Dawn Okoro,  Roshi,  mixed media, 2018

Dawn Okoro, Roshi, mixed media, 2018

A Beautiful Struggle: Black Feminist Futurism is an interdisciplinary contemporary art exhibition that explores the integration of Black feminist and Afrofuturist ideas. 

Afrofuturism is a creative and cultural genre that examines perspectives of the African diaspora based in a communal reimagining of the past - as well as envisioned futures - while considering themes of identity, escapism, magical realism, and technology. Yet, Black feminism specifically focuses on the perspectives of those who are both Black and female. The relevancy of exploring visual representations of Afrofuturism from a Black feminist perspective rests in the understanding of the necessity to lay aside the historically exclusive nature of both Black nationalism and feminism; instead, promoting the intersectionality of Black womanhood. 


Rather than focusing on an imagined existence as a form of escapism from oppression, marginalization, and invisibility, this exhibition dares to expound upon unique characteristics of Black womanhood and ways in which these characteristics can be emphasized. By highlighting Black women’s experiences, without blatant representations of oppression, Black women’s self-defined identities are centered, rather than explored in a responsive way.


Afrofuturism also allows for the constant dialogue of past, present, and future, and the dynamic nature of constantly changing creations. Therefore, this exhibition offers examinations of Black feminist empowerment without constraints of particular time periods. All aspects of time are considered simultaneously, reimagined through Black feminist lenses, and used as tools of empowerment. 


Through this exhibition, artists negotiate reimagined pasts, contemporary realities, and envisioned futures by corresponding to the necessity of elevating voices of the African diaspora community, with particular focus solely on the voices which have been most suppressed, those of Black women.

This exhibition is presented with support from: 
Ferris State University
Founders Brewing Co.
Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs
National Endowment for the Arts


Member Morning: A Beautiful Struggle
Thu, Feb 20, 2020

UICA Members can enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the galleries led by Juana Williams, UICA's Exhibition's curator. Members, click here to register for Member Morning: A Beautiful Struggle.

Member Morning - Members enjoy behind the scenes tour

Opening Night Event
Fri, Feb 21, 2020

5:30 - 9:00 pm
UICA Members: Free
Non-Members: Free with admission

Join UICA for the opening A Beautiful Struggle: Black Feminist Futurism. Enjoy a cash bar, light refreshments, and a first look at the works on view.


Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations should contact Megan Bylsma, Associate Director, at 616.454.7000 x11 or meganbylsma@ferris.edu at least 72 hours in advance.


Earlier Event: January 17
Translating Valence