Artist John Sims comes to Austin with AfroDixia: Journey To Justice featuring: Burn and Bury 2022 performance, film screening and the AfroDixieRemixes for Memorial Day Weekend
For Memorial Day Weekend 2022, artist, writer, and activist John Sims will present AfroDixia: Journey To Justice in Austin,TX. This multimedia happening is a part of a 20 year project that engages Confederate iconography, cultural politics of white supremacy and transformative healing, featuring the artist’s 7th annual Burn and Bury performance, film screening and AfroDixieRemixes. This series of events will be hosted by Austin Film Society, DadaLab and Red Salmon Arts/Resistencia Books, and co-sponsored by the Austin Justice Coalition and Six Square.
Two Films by John Sims: Sunday, May 29, 2022, 5PM
6259 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX
The series of events starts at the Austin Film Society’s AFS Cinema with two films directed by John Sims and with a talkback discussion to follow with Chale Nafus, founding board member of Austin Film Society. The featured films are:
Running time 50:07 mins
This work is a collection of six short films that follows the journey of John Sims’ creative process in studying, interrogating and bringing to justice the Confederate mindset and its related symbols, while searching for ways to re-imagine and re-create those same symbols as instruments of healing, recovery and transformation.
For more info go to: https://www.austinfilm.org/screening/recoloration-proclamation/
AfroDixieRemixes: The Confederate Chapel Listening Session/VMF
Running time 63:52
Set in the Confederate Memorial Chapel at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts this documentary film captures a series of responses to Sims’ 13 year AfroDixieRemixes project, a collection of 14 tracks that re-images the song Dixie (the anthem of the Confederacy) in the style of the following Black-music genres: spiritual, blues, gospel, jazz, funk, calypso, samba, soul, rhythm & blues, house, and hip-hop.
For more info go to: https://www.austinfilm.org/scr…/recoloration-proclamation/
Burn and Bury 2022: Monday, May 30, 2022, 2 PM
2824 Real St., Austin TX
DadaLab will host the main event, the 7th annual Burn and Bury Confederate Flag: 2022 on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 2PM, hosted by John Sims and featuring Chas Moore, co-founder of the Austin Justice Coalition, performance artist Dragonfly, and various poets. A potluck reception will follow.
In 2015, Sims made a national call to burn and bury Confederate flags in response to the Charleston Nine Murders, to confront the legacy of American slavery and honor the memory of social justice soldiers who fought against slavery, for Civil Rights, and fight against current institutional and cultural white supremacy. This led to the creation of the annual Burn and Bury Memorial Day event, The Burn and Bury Video Anthem and a Burn and Bury Confederate Flag Support Kit .This annual performance seeks to create a new ritual for all Americans to engage in a moment and space of healing and transformation. For more on this project, see Sims’ CNN OP-ED piece, Don’t Resurrect the Confederacy- de-Zombify it. For the live stream visit johnsimsprojects.com/live.
AfroDixieRemixes Listening Session: Tuesday May 31, 2022, 6PM
2000 Thrasher Ln., Austin, TX
This final event will be hosted by Red Salmon Arts/Resistencia Books featuring a listening session of the double LP project AfroDixieRemixes, a sound project that confronts the song Dixie – the anthem of the Confederacy by remixing, remapping and cross-appropriation with a collection of 14 tracks of Dixie in the many genres of black music: spiritual, blues, gospel, jazz, funk, calypso, samba, soul, rhythm & blues, house, and hip-hop. The Austin community will be invited to come and listen and discuss the tracks in preparation for a later performative listening session.
Recoloration Proclamation, is a system of projects that features recolored Confederate flags; a hanging installation in Gettysburg; a 13 southern states Confederate flag funeral; videos; site-specific performances; a play; a collection of experimental films; the music project, “AfroDixieRemixes,” the annual “Burn and Bury Confederate Flag Memorial”; and the outside performance and Kennedy Museum exhibition of “The Proper Way to Hang to a Confederate Flag” at Ohio University, the installation of the world’s largest Afro Confederate Battle Flag on the steps of theSouth Carolina capitol building. Over the years, this work has incorporated more than 150 collaborators including poets, musicians, and artists throughout the country.
For more on the artist’s thoughts leading to this project, see his Huffington Post piece, Burn and Bury Memorial: Birth of a Ritual, and his 2017 Detroit Free Press Op-Ed piece: Why I am Burning and Burying The Confederate Flag in Detroit.
“I hope that this work may provide a path to confront the deep insidious nature of Confederate iconography, white-supremacy trauma and the legacy of American slavery through the creative process and agency of re-imagination, re-souling and righteous confiscation while providing an inspiring space for reflection, reckoning, and recovery toward a better, understanding of Southern heritage and a more just America. With that in mind, I am excited to come to Austin and share this work with a creative and political community ready to fight against the Confederate state of mind and embrace the challenging path of recovery, healing and social justice.” – John Sims, 2022
The Austin Justice Coalition (AJC) “serves people who are historically and systematically impacted by gentrification, segregation, over policing, a lack of educational and employment opportunities, and other institutional forms of racism in Austin.”
The mission of Six Square is “ to preserve and celebrate the cultural legacy of the African American community that once thrived in Central East Austin through cultural arts, education, economic development, and historic preservation.”
Austin Film Society was “founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and brings the community together around great film. AFS supports filmmakers towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services.”
dadaLab “offers flexible space to an interdisciplinary mix of artists, designers, technologists, futurists, and creative entrepreneurs. People at dadalab are working on everything from new businesses, to ambitious art installations, to provocative experiments in architecture, social ventures, and urban design.”
Red Salmon Arts is “a grassroots cultural arts organization, with a thirty-year history of working with the indigenous neighborhoods of Austin. RSA is dedicated to the development of emerging writers and the promotion of Chicana/o/x/Latina/o/x/Native American literature, providing outlets and mechanisms for cultural exchange, and sharing in the retrieval of a people’s cultural heritage with a commitment to social justice.”
Artist Bio –John Sims, a Detroit native, Sarasota based multimedia artist, writer, and activist who creates art and curatorial projects spanning the areas of installation, performance, text, music, film, and large-scale activism, informed by mathematics, design, the politics of white supremacy, sacred symbols/anniversaries, and poetic/political text. For 20 years he has been working on the forefront of contemporary mathematical art and leading the national pushback on Confederate iconography.
Currently, he is Resident Artist at the La Mama Experimental Theater Club in NYC, and at the Ringling Museum, where he developed the new performance piece 2020: (Di)Visions of America. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC News, USA Today, US News/World Report,NPR, The Guardian, ThinkProgress, Al Jazeera, Art in America, Sculpture, Hyperallergic, New Art Examiner, Science News, Nature and Scientific American. He has written for CNN, Al Jazeera, Tampa Bay Times, Detroit Free Press, The Huffington Post, Guernica Magazine, and The Rumpus and TheGrio.