Take a look behind the scenes at our Teen Leader's Massive Resilience project, a six-month long program developed by Dr. Ram Bhagat to interrogate racism and oppression through a trauma sensitive arts integration project.
The purpose of the Massive Resilience project was to stimulate creative thinking, transform community perceptions, and provide young people with a creative process to interpret the root causes of racial conflict within American society.
During this project the teens learned about the role Richmond played in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, through various of historical media and a tour of’ The Trail of Enslaved Africans’, to gain a deeper understanding of the harrowing journey the first enslaved Africans faced in Virginia and our nation. They also discussed community attitudes and perspectives before and during the curated tour of ‘The Trail of Enslaved Africans’.
A potent blend of drumming, dance, and drama ensured that the teen leaders interpret and responded to the experience in deep, safe, and transformative ways. Peacemaking circles were held to unpack and process strong emotions that may arise before, during, and after the walk along the ‘Trail of Enslaved Africans.’
The personal reflection of what has and has not changed in 400 years since the first enslaved peoples arrived and the creation of multi-disciplinary artwork provided a platform where their voices can be heard, by sharing their own perspectives. The program was layered with guests artists and lecturers, Michael Donovan aka Mikemetic, WRIR DJ and, Chad Ingold history teacher at Open High School, and VCU Theater Professor Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates.
The exhibit opens at on March 1st at ART 180, 114 W. Marshall St., in Jackson Ward from 6-9 p.m., and features a DJ and live performance. The exhibition will remain open until March 22.