A Funeral for Street Culture
A program on (un)doing fashion, gender, cultural appropriation & cultural/digital archive
“I look too good not to be seen.” – Elektra Abundance (Dominique Jackson)
“How do we tell each other this feeling might be or is forever? Do we tell each other heartbreak might be forever? Is pain forever? How do we share fugitivity and waywardness?” – Katherine McKittrick & Alexander G. Weheliye
“Give me the rub of calves,
rappers sampling jazz,
the char of frankincense
and everything else that makes sense
in a world that don’t.” – Momtaza Mehri
What do we do when the hype dies? We organize a funeral to say farewell. A Funeral for Street Culture is a special series that digs deep into the world and sorrows of contemporary street culture, its influencers, shape-shifters and failures. The project zooms into the alternative situations and praxis that breathe life into street culture pasts, present and futures.
Since our reality has been changed tremendously due to #Covid19 & the refueled movement for Black Lives & anti-racist world-making. We had to rethink and reevaluate our relationship and notion of the street. Street culture has always been a geographical site for culture making, playfulness, collaboration and solidarity. With #Covid19, life might have been sucked out of the streets, its immense impact on culture is still felt and present. The street as an extension of public space and home is again reconfigured by the state and society. The streets are in protest across the world. Amidst the turmoil, a funeral for street culture seems more relevant and urgent than ever.
Street culture has been for the past decades a global mode of cultural expression, a rebellion, showcased through the hijacking and transformation of elements of cultures, art and design- creating something new, owned by the communities from who it was originated, but what happens when the culture and its cultural productions are commodified by brands and institutions? To what extent are these processes of institutionalization and hyper-commercialization a death sentence to street culture? Is there still room for a counterculture when the counter becomes mainstream? What does it look like?
Together with artists, poets, designers, thinkers and hustlers, Metro54 looks into these questions and ways the futures of street culture unfold through wayward forms and practices that interweave or depart from design, performativity, queerness, fashion, activism and cultural appreciation. This series is a critical celebration of street culture and will take the shape of meetings, installations, performances, conversations, mournings and workshops for this (dying) culture.
Rita Ouédraogo lives and works in Amsterdam. As a curator, writer, Research and Community programmer, her work is informed by her interest in African diaspora, decolonizing institutions, institutional racism, popular culture and social issues. Rita is the guest curator for the ongoing research project A Funeral for Street culture that takes place online, on the street and at Metro54’s speakeasy in Amsterdam.
Metro54 x Cultural Appropriation
Metro54 is a platform for young artists, thinkers, activists, writers and hustlers who push the boundaries of their (art) disciplines, with special attention to the talents who draw their inspiration from global and contemporary urban culture. A Funeral for Street Culture is part of the interdisciplinary and experimental program “Re-mix and Re-search: whose cultural appropriation is this?, which is realized in collaboration with the Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industrie.