OBA II : The Family of Poets // 2011-2012
The Family of Poets is a project conceived by artist Monte Laster and produced under the direction of FACE and Quancard Contemporary Art. It consists of a series of documentary videos, photographs, poems, musical creations, artistic interventions and sculptures. Each piece reflects on themes of education, violence, imitation, belief systems, immigration and the concept of what a "masterpiece" is in today's context. The project links commonalities found between two cities, Harlem, New York and La Courneuve, France, each famous for its strong urban cultures, social dynamics, bad-boy image and political influence.
The Family of Poets follows the experience of 8 young poets formed under the direction of Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets and Monte Laster. The group traveled to Paris in April 2012 to perform original pieces commissioned by Laster within the context of OBA. Performances took place in La Courneuve, the Louvre Museum, Chateau de Versailles, Saint-Eustache Church, and for the 24 hour re-opening of the Palais de Tokyo Center for Contemporary Art. The poets received training and mentoring from legendary poet Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets and urban-word artist Mikal Lee (aka. Hired Gun). These works include a documentary video as part of a larger exhibition of the entire OBA project. This project was funded by the US Embassy in Paris, The French Ministry of Culture, The City of La Courneuve, and private donors.