Curator and social sculptor gathers stories and captures portraits from local Sunset Park storytellers.
Sunset Park Portraits | Sun, Sept 13th, 12-3pm | Sunset Park Library (map) | FREE
Examining what Sunset Park locals have to say about the neighborhood they call home. Follow BEAT social media channels for the results. Photography by Stephanie Mei-Ling.
About Rasu Jilani
Rasu Jilani is an independent curator, social sculptor and entrepreneur whose work investigates the intersection between art, culture and civic engagement as a means of raising critical consciousness. The objective of his work is to catalyze interaction between artists, the local community and the wider public, in order to promote awareness around social issues through exhibitions, humanities, community programs and cultural events.
As socially engaged art curator and community programming professional, Rasu Jilani joined the staff of MAPP International Productions in April 2013 as Director of Community Programs. His latest work at MAPP includes programming the humanities for Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited – a citywide retrospective, Triple Consciousness: Black Feminism(s) in the Time of Now at Brooklyn Museum, Days of Art and Ideas at The New School, artists’ salons, community discussions, and artists led workshops. Prior to joining MAPP, he worked with over 125 artists to curate, design and manage artistic and community events addressing social concerns and civic issues. He served a two-year tenure as Senior Fellow of Arts, Culture and Sustainability at the Pratt Center for Community Development, where he managed art and cultural programs designed to connect New York City neighborhoods with Pratt Center’s community and environmental sustainability projects. These projects included Arts East New York’s Summer Saturdaze at East New York Farms, Bedford Stuyvesant’s Retrofit Block-by-Block, Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Restoration Rocks and Youth Arts Education, Brooklyn Greens Sustainability Leadership Conference, Cypress Hill Verde Summit, and the “Amplify Action: Sustainability Through The Arts” exhibition.
Mr. Jilani is also co-founder of the art and socially responsible brand, Coup d’etat Arts, a platform for creative expression that transcends cultural boundaries. In 2008, he introduced the Coup d’etat Art Collective, a Brooklyn-based collaboration of highly respected artists to produce various art-related events throughout New York City, including the Afropunk Festival, BEAT Festival, Long Island University, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, The New School, Mighty Tanaka Gallery, Skylight Gallery. Mr. Jilani holds both a B.S. from Syracuse University. www.rasujilani.com
About Stephanie Mei-Ling
East meets west in more ways than one. Born to a Taiwanese mother and American father, Stephanie Mei-Ling is a Los Angeles-raised, Brooklyn-based documentary photographer. Her professional career was sparked by a genuine curiosity and admiration of people and lifestyle – this creative through line present in both her commercial photography and photojournalistic series. Mirroring her background, Stephanie Mei-Ling straddles both the accessible and inaccessible, emotional and bare in all things captured through her shutter.