As part of their international workshop day, Kesho Wazo presented the history of their group. We told the young women how we came to be and that they could do the same. We stressed the importance of gathering as peers and creatives to create a community free of any boxes or labels. Talking is not all we did, we did a raw expressive activity at the end. They lit up the auditorium with vibration with our vocal activity.
Providence artist, Nick Carter and Portland's own youth collective Kesho Wazo present a new edition of streetwear at the intersection of punk and couture. Guided by an ethic of collaboration, youth empowerment, and de-professionalization, the line features all-over bleach patterns punctuated by patches of screen-printed imagery and sections of 'upcycled' clothing.
Community Blessing 6pm - 8pm @ Kennedy Park
Saturday With Brujas
State Jam 12pm - 2pm @ Portland Skatepark
Barbeque 2:30pm - 4pm @ Dougherty Field Ft: Workshops
Kick Ball 4pm - 6pm @ Dougherty Field
After Party 10pm @ Zero Station Feating: DJ Free-It \A.B Soarin\ Fresh From De
East end Clean up 10am - 12pm @ Fort Allen Park
Workshops 12pm - 2pm @ Fort Allen Park
Concert 12:30 - 4:30pm @ Fort Allen Park
Join Kesho Wazo for the 1st edition of 'Wazo Talk' Series. We will be discussing systemic issues that affect the youth, such as the roots of hip hop and the influence it has on our generation, race and self-hate. There will also be a presentation on the current state of the Abyssinian meeting house by Mr. Cummings
Join Kesho Wazo as they bring a new sense of urban youth culture to the city of Portland—showcasing their vibrant talents through performance art, fashion design— including a pop-up shop—short films and the release of their “Idea Chart,” which will outline future plans and events for Kesho Wazo.
The event is slated to feature a heavy wave of new sound from local musicians—including Zaya, Julian Abbott, Griot, and Emma Ivy. Music during the runway show will be hosted by producers Shadia & Charle (Leap), DJ Freeit and DJ Soren. Filmmakers Henry Spritz and Erin Murphy will showcase their short films during the event—one of which includes, an exclusive trailer for the Kesho Wazo documentary. The group will also hold a silent auction with collaborative pieces by David Thete, Mahalia Judge, and Candice Gosta.
A Community Collaborative Event with UNE
During the Fall 2016 semester, two students from the University of New England’s School of Social Work, Lisa DiGiovanni and Lauren Dembski - both 2016 School of Social Work graduates - collaborated with Kesho Wazo on a Social Inclusion/ Art project. The UNE students facilitated discussions and focus groups with Kesho Wazo, learning about young people’s lives. Dembski and Kesho Wazo also worked with Casco Bay High school, running focus groups in the classroom to include students’ thoughts and experiences. They supplemented these discussions with written and creative media, engaging students in uncomfortable but critical conversations around issues of race and the cultural gaps within education. The UNE students and Kesho Wazo participants used the material generated from the focus groups to create an arts project: a physical bridge that depicts ideas of how the community can bridge social gaps that exist in our society. They revealed the bridge at an event on the Portland UNE campus in December and shared stories, poetry, and ideas for future collaboration with the professors, students and members of the community.
Kesho Wazo x Yourself
In the Fall of 2016, Kesho Wazo got the opportunity to collaborate on a visual mural installation with Detroit-native and artist Ray Spectrum. The mural was featured in Space Gallery. The project was inspired by Portland’s housing crisis. Kesho Wazo took photos of areas within Portland that are being gentrified and held an event discussing things to do to prevent this crisis.
In Summer 2016 Kesho Wazo hosted a candlelit vigil in memory of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in Portland, Maine. It brought almost 600 people together with a candle lighting at Portland's City Hall and a march throughout the downtown area. At the event, the youth of the community displayed their talents by performing spoken word pieces, poetry, and singing as the march went on, with performances at City Hall, the Portland Police station and Monument Square.