Roots, Routes, and Riots: A Multi-Media Exhibit of the Bay Area

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Through the eyes of an ROMC Intern.

Maybe it was the sounds of the beating drums echoing through the halls of the Student Center. Maybe it was the laughter and the conversations that flew over me and the pile of books laid over my table. Or, maybe it was the spectrum of colors I saw against the walls. Whatever it was, it drew me in, and I packed my notebooks, my pencils and pens, and headed directly across to the SFSU Art Gallery, located on the top level of the Cesar Chavez Student Center, where I would find there was an Art Gallery Reception for the Roots, Routes, and Riots Exhibit, on display until November 3rd, 2011.

The first thing I noticed, was a wall of black and white photographs, displayed to celebrate the struggles and the progression of the African diaspora. After looking and studying each photo and its significance, I started to walk towards the painted artwork lined across the walls. I was so moved and touched by everything that stood before me, and both the abstract and concrete messages conveyed by the artists spoke to me. At the very end of the exhibit, the ROMC featured books that are relevant to the African diaispora and the Gallery sold magnets as souvenirs. Also, featured in the exhibit was a video presentation by Mandeep Sethi, entitled Slum Gods.

I think I spent a great majority of my time looking and analyzing a canvassed painting, where a man, with green pants gracefully outstretched himself throughout the piece. In the background, there was an American flag, but uniquely painted, so that where the 50 white stars should have been, there were question marks surrounding the ocean of blue. The entire piece kept me in a trance. And throughout the course of my time spent at the art gallery, I kept getting drawn back into this painting. On my last visit for the night, I stared at the painting, and a man at the back of me whispered that he himself had painted this piece. I turned around to find that the man, the artist of this moving piece, was the very polite gentleman who had given me a magnet as a memorabilia of the day. I told him how inspirational his work was, and I thanked Mr. Malik Seneferu for his kindness.

This exhibit on campus is a great opportunity to see the expressive works of artists regarding the African diaspora. So, don’t miss out! Come by the Gallery for some inspiration… and don’t forget the featured books the ROMC has to offer for further thoughts and analyses of this topic.


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