testimonies from the table is a collection of portraits and firsthand narratives illuminating and honoring the lived experiences of 61 diverse black women in america. inspired by solange's a seat at the table and in celebration of her interdisciplinary performance piece at the guggenheim called an ode to, the scrapbook format features instant film photos and handwritten statements.
on may 18, 2017, the original book was gifted to solange; a free digital version is available for download.
physical copies of the book (made from high-resolution scans of the original) are now available for purchase on the blurb bookstore. pricing is at cost in the interest of access and with the intention that testimonies from the table serve as a conversation starter and educational tool. in this spirit, connections to other high quality book printing services with lower rates are welcome.
i, a Pakistani woman, was offered a fairly open ended opportunity to conceive of a project related to Solange’s A Seat at the Table; Though creating a theme around women of color may have seemed natural, I wanted to honor the fact that A Seat at the Table is an album expressly for Black women.
As people, we tend to be most moved to concern ourselves with something if we can clearly see a piece of ourselves in the story; In reality, what affects any one of us, affects all of us. I don't need to be a Black woman for this project to be relevant to me. Until Black women are free — or any oppressed peoples for that matter — none of us are free. I am facilitating this project because I believe that Black women — my fellow humans — have a right to exist peacefully in their humanity.
My intention for this visual and written tapestry is manifold; To create a sense of community, solidarity, and healing amongst contributors, Solange, and the broader sphere of Black women in America; To engage in a dialogue with Solange and the topics presented on A Seat at the Table; To shed light on the challenges Black women face to exist peacefully; To create space for Black women to express and even boldly declare how they envision their own healing, joy, and liberation; To support and celebrate artists like Solange who use their platform to exemplify bravery, authenticity, vulnerability, and social advocacy.
Though in one way this is for you, my Black sisters — in the end, this is for us.