BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival Saturday Performance Cancelled

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the excessive heat advisory and in the interest of public safety, all large events in city parks, including the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell, are cancelled for Saturday, July 20.

  • Suhaly Bautista-Carolina | Photo credit: Kali-Ma Nazarene

  • Blitz the Ambassador | Photo credit: J. Quazi King

  • Eli Cane

  • Juanli Carrión

  • The Chamanas

  • Jaskiran Dhillon

  • iliana emilia garcia

  • Alicia Grullón

  • Erika Harrsch | Photo credit: Julia Cardona

  • Serena Jara, part of RAGGA NYC

  • LSDXOXO, part of RAGGA NYC

  • Paola Mendoza

  • Darnell L. Moore

  • Oscar Nñ, part of RAGGA NYC

  • Edward Paulino

  • Lido Pimienta

  • Viva Ruiz, part of RAGGA NYC

  • Albert Saint Jean

  • Jess Thom (Touretteshero) | Photo credit: James Lyndasy

  • Christopher Udemezue (Neon Christina), founder of RAGGA NYC

  • Kamau Ware of the Black Gotham Experience

  • Ibi Zoboi

Suhaly Bautista-Carolina is a community organizer, educator, and spiritual herbalist. Born in New York City to AfroDominican parents, her work is rooted in harnessing the collective power of community. She has worked in various capacities with organizations such as the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), The Brooklyn Museum, The Laundromat Project, Artspace, and The Brooklyn Children's Museum. Her photographic documents and writings have been published in La Galeria Magazine, United Nations’ International Museum of Women, and Caribbean Vistas Journal. Suhaly is a Weeksville Ambassador and serves on the Advisory Boards to Black Girl Project and More Art. She earned her B.A. and MPA from NYU, where she was named one of "NYU's 15 Most Influential Students." In 2018, Suhaly founded Moon Mother Apothecary, a brand of 100% natural, hand-made, heart-centered, moon-powered herbal products inspired by her daughter, Luna.

During BRIC OPEN: Borders, Suhaly will be part of the panel discussion  "Haiti-NYC-DR: Reflections from the Diaspora" at 4PM on Saturday.


Blitz the Ambassador, the international hip hop artist and filmmaker, embodies what it means to be a global artist in viewpoint and in sound style. His signature blend of classic hip hop break beats with West African highlife and global rhythms of the diaspora has gained him fans from his native Ghana and around the world. His latest release, Diasporadical, offers itself as a study of intersections between the modern global African experience and struggle, and explores themes common in Blitz's past work: immigration, spirituality, nostalgia, and love. To reinforce these themes, Blitz directed a 15-minute short film called Diasporadical Trilogia.

Blitz the Ambassador will perform in the BRIC House Ballroom and his short film Diasporadical Trilogia will be screened on the Stoop as part of BRIC OPEN: Borders - Friday.


Eli Cane (Producer) runs Normal Life Pictures, a New York-based production company. He was producer and music supervisor for The Market Maker, which aired nationally on PBS as a Wide Angle in 2009 and was selected for the Good Pitch at Silverdocs. He also produced a feature-length documentary for the Why Poverty? series entitled Land Rush, about agricultural land grabs in Mali and the future of food sovereignty. The film was featured at the Good Pitch London in 2011 and at IDFA in 2012, and has been screened in both the UK Parliament and the US Capital Building. In addition, the film became a center-piece of Oxfam’s “Behind the Brands” campaign, and aired in dozens of cities around the US in honor of World Food Day in 2013. The films in the Why Poverty? series won a Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2013. Recently, he produced the ground-breaking videos for Solange’s Grammy-winning song “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair.” Cane partnered with the late, great jazz producer/arranger Bob Belden to executive produce Miles Español for eOne Music. He worked for seven formative years at Nonesuch Records, where he Executive Produced jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton’s Into the Blue and oversaw production of over 150 albums, including a dozen or so Grammy winners. He regularly produces episodes of the PBS show Live from the Artists Den.


Juanli Carrión is a multi-media artist whose work explores community, memory, and collective and individual identity through site-specific installations. Carrión will have a solo exhibition in BRIC's Project Room from September 13- November 11, 2018. He has been featured at White Box and Y Gallery, both in NY; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Lima, Peru; La Conservera, Murcia, Spain; Rosa Santos Gallery, Valencia, Spain; and Rum46, Arthus, Denmark. His public gardens have been installed in Brooklyn; Manhattan; the Bronx; Holma, Sweden; and Valencia and Murcia, both in Spain. Carrión is the recipient of numerous grants, including those from the Brooklyn Arts Council; Partnerships for Parks; and the Ministry of Culture of Spain. He received his BA in New Media Arts from Universite Vicennes-Saint Denis, Paris, and his BFA in Fine Arts from Universidad de Granada, Spain. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Sculpture at the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, Spain.


Dr. Carolle Charles is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Baruch College. As a scholar her research and work concentrate on processes and agencies both in Haitian society and within the Haitian immigrant communities of North America. Dr. Charles's present scholarly work focuses on three interconnected areas of research: Labor Migration and Transnational Pattern of Migrants' Identities; the Dynamic of Race, Culture, and History; and Gender and Empowerment. Her work is contributing to the ongoing debate on feminist studies that attempts to redefine the very meaning of feminism. Dr. Charles is a 2000-2001 Fulbright recipient for Haiti. Dr. Charles was on the editorial board of the Journals Gender and Society, a journal of feminism, Identity a journal of Transnationalism, and Wadabaguei, a journal of Caribbean studies. She is also a member of many scholarly organizations, among others, the American Sociological Association (ASA), the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), the Haitian Studies Association (HAS). Presently she is an elected council in the executive board of the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), and the Haitian Studies Association (HAS).

During BRIC OPEN: Borders, Dr. Charles will moderate the panel discussion "Haiti-NYC-DR: Reflections from the Diaspora" at 4PM on Saturday.


Vladimir Cybil Charlier was born 1967 in New York and based in Harlem, NY. Working with multiple media such as installation, painting, drawing, and printmaking, Haitian-American artist Vladimir Cybil Charlier explores the relationship of her childhood memories in Haiti and the history of the Caribbean since the 15th century in order to visually define the contemporary Haitian diaspora in the U.S. Her artworks incorporate cartography, women’s history in the Caribbean, the region’s food economy, and Haitian popular culture. She also studies how the collective memory of the Haitian Revolution continues to impact contemporary Haiti and its diaspora. Charlier’s solo exhibitions include those at the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University; and Skoto Gallery, all NY. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at El Museo del Barrio and Exit Art, both NY; the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; Centro Cultural de España, Santo Domingo; the Pérez Art Museum Miami, FL; and the Grand Palais, Paris. She was artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Studio Museum in Harlem, both NY. Charlier won the solo exhibition prize at the Caribbean Biennial at the Museum of Modern Art, Santo Domingo, in 2003, and also participated in the Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador, and La Biennale di Venezia. Charlier earned a BFA from Queens College and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, both NY.

Vladimir will host the Drawn Together event at 12PM during BRIC OPEN: Borders - Saturday, along with iliana emilia garcia.


The Chamanas, with members from Ciudad Juarez and El Paso and their Fronterizo indie pop fusion, highlight the uniqueness of what the border has to offer. "The" in English and "Chamanas" in Spanish is a compound name that celebrates people who can fluently go back and forth between two languages. The name also comes from the idea of music as a "shaman"; music can change the way people think and feel, can heal with energy. It is a priority for the group to celebrate this distinct culture, heal from past stereotypes, and positively influence young generations. The group has been invited to perform their border music all over the United States and Latin America, and have collaborated with artists as varied as Portugal. The Man, Enjambre, and Beach House. Their debut album, Once Once, was nominated for a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist and won the Independent Music Awards of Mexico (IMAS).

The Chamanas will perform in the BRIC House Ballroom during BRIC OPEN: Borders - Friday.


Jaskiran Dhillon is a first generation academic and organizer who grew up on Treaty Six Cree and Metis Territory in Saskatchewan, Canada. Committed to the tenets of public intellectualism, Jaskiran’s scholarship is intimately connected to, and informed by, on-the-ground advocacy and direct action. Her work spans the fields of settler colonialism, anthropology of the state, anti-racist and Indigenous feminism, youth studies, colonial violence, and Indigenous studies and has been published in The Guardian, Cultural Anthropology, Truthout, Public Seminar, Feminist Formations, and Decolonization among other venues.   Her first book, Prairie Rising: Indigenous Youth, Decolonization, and the Politics of Intervention (2017), provides a critical, ethnographic account of state interventions in the lives of urban indigenous youth. Her new research focuses on developing an anti-colonial critique of the environmental justice movement by examining Indigenous political movements working against the extractive industry, including the resistance at Standing Rock. She is also the guest editor of a special issue of Environment and Society that foregrounds Indigenous resistance to, and theorizing of, climate change and co-editor, along with Nick Estes, of #NODAPL and Mni Wiconi:  Reflections on Standing Rock to be released in 2018 with University of Minnesota Press. Jaskiran is an assistant professor of global studies and anthropology at The New School and a member of the New York City Stands with Standing Rock Collective.


iliana emilia garcia was born 1970 in Santo Domingo and is currently based in Brooklyn. For iliana emilia garcia, the traditional Caribbean chair serves as a powerful symbol to address the emotional histories contained within objects and places. Her use of the chair varies throughout her practice ranging from photographic subject to installation material, to a form deconstructed through drawing and sculpture. Depicting the transplantation of a Caribbean vernacular object to new environments, she explores the complexities of living in the diaspora. Garcia’s work mirrors the uneasy transition of immigrants to a new space, filled with longing for their home countries and hope for the future in their adopted land. Garcia's solo exhibitions took place at St. Francis College, Brooklyn; El Centro Cultural de España, Santo Domingo; and other institutions in the United States and the Dominican Republic. She has participated in group shows at BRIC and 490 Gallery, both Brooklyn; Fordham University, the Bronx Center for the Arts, the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, No Longer Empty, and the Manhattan Graphic Center, all NY; as well as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. and the 3rd Triennial Poli/Gráfica de San Juan, Puerto Rico. Garcia earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design, NY, and an AA from Altos de Chávon, La Romana, the Dominican Republic.

iliana will host the Drawn Together event at 12PM during BRIC OPEN: Borders - Saturday, along with Vladimir Cybil Charlier.


Alicia Grullón critiques the politics of presence and argues for the inclusion of disenfranchised communities in political and social spheres through her performance art. Grullón draws from social interventions and performative reenactments that assert the lived experiences of people removed from history. In her recent piece, Fillibuster, 2016 she re-enacted Senator Wendy Davis' 11 Hour filibuster against Texas abortion laws in June 2013 adhering to the Texas filibuster rules which prohibited sitting, leaning, drinking, eating, or restroom breaks. For Grullón, the alternative narratives that emerge from these socially engaged practices consider race, class, gender, and activism, and their interconnection in shaping the contemporary social condition. Grullón's work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions at New York City galleries, including Smack Mellon, BRIC, and El Museo del Barrio. She participated in several biennials and festivals, including The Uptown Triennial at Columbia University, The (S) Files at El Museo del Barrio; Performa 11; the Bronx Museum AIM Biennial; and Art in Odd Places. Grullón completed residency and fellowship programs with the Wallach Art Gallery, Arts Council Korea, the Five Colleges Women’s Studies Center, A Blade of Grass Foundation, and Culture Push, among others.

Grullón's mobile art project, Empanar!, will be on display from 6:30-8:30PM during BRIC OPEN: Borders - Friday.


Erika Harrsch was born in Mexico City and has lived in several cities throughout the United States, as well as Italy, Germany, and Brazil; for the past fourteen years she has lived and worked in New York City. She creates experiences that reflect the body, identity, sexuality, desire, the space that defines us and the one we wish for, and the limits and vertiginous freedom that lead to a continuous corporeal and ideological migration. She has established a fertile and captivating language, using tools such as painting, photography, video, animation, installation, interactive projects, and the production and direction of multimedia shows. For the past eight years her interdisciplinary practices have led to collaborations with well-known musicians and composers including Philip Glass, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, Claire Chase, Paola Prestini, and Maya Beiser, among others. Her work has been shown in galleries, festivals, and international artistic residencies, as well as at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City), El Museo del Barrio (New York City), Nevada Museum of Art (Reno, Nevada), Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, Connecticut), Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase, NY), and Bellevue Arts Museum (Bellevue, Washington), in the United States; Göteborg Konstmuseum, Sweden; Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium; Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea; and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (Nuevo León) and Museo de la Ciudad (Querétaro), in Mexico. Her work is included in numerous international public and private collections, including the Musée de la Photographie in Belgium, and the Eaton Corporation and the Fidelity Corporation in the United States.

Erika's installation, Under the Same Sky...We Dream, will be on display throughout BRIC OPEN: Borders, on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and after the BRIC OPEN Festival, from Tuesday, May 1 to Sunday May 6, 10AM-6PM every day. She will also be part of the talk with Yatziri Tovar called "Reflections on the DACA and the DREAM Act" at 2PM on Saturday.


Paola Mendoza is a film director, activist and author. She was a national organizer and the Artistic Director for the Women's March on Washington, the largest protest in recorded history. For her day job, Paola is a critically acclaimed film director. Her films have continually tackled the effects of poverty and immigration on women and children in the United States. Her award-winning movies have premiered at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film and she is a Tribeca All Access, Film Independent, and Independent Film Week fellow. She is a co-founder of The Soze Agency and has been the creative director for campaigns fighting for immigration reform, criminal justice reform, incarcerated mother's and women's rights. She is a co-founder and member of the critically acclaimed Resistance Revival Chorus. Most recently she co-authored The New York Times best seller Together We Rise.


Darnell L. Moore is an editor-at-large at CASSIUS (Urban One), a columnist at LogoTV.com and NewNextNow.com, and a contributor at Mic, where he hosted their widely viewed digital series The Movement. He writes regularly for Ebony, Advocate, Vice, and Guardian. Moore was one of the original Black Lives Matter organizers, organizing bus trips from New York to Ferguson after the murder of Michael Brown. Moore is a writer-in-residence at the Center of African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University, has taught at NYU, Rutgers, Fordham, and Vassar, and was trained at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2016, he was named one of The Root 100, and in 2015 he was named one of Ebony magazine's Power 100 and Planned Parenthood's 99 Dream Keepers. He divides his time between Brooklyn and Atlanta. His first book, No Ashes in the Fire (Nation Books), comes out on May 29, 2018.


Edward Paulino is an assistant professor in the department of history at CUNY's John Jay College. He teaches a variety of classes from global history to the history of genocide. He specializes in the 1937 Haitian Massacre and  has a manuscript under review on the role of the Dominican state in creating a racial border against Haiti. He is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and is a member of the John Jay Human Rights minor. He is the co-organizer of Border of Lights, which was founded to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 1937 Haitian Massacre by remembering the 20,000 men, women, and children that were murdered by the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.

During BRIC OPEN: Borders, Edward will be part of the panel discussion  "Haiti-NYC-DR: Reflections from the Diaspora" at 4PM on Saturday.


Lido Pimienta, known as "Colombian darling" and "Soundsister," and winner of the 2017 Polaris Music Prize, jumps back and forth from electronic beats, analog synths, and Afro-Colombian rhythms to out-of-this-world chanting. The release of her first album, Color LP, opened the gate for several collaborations with artists in Canada and around the world, making her one of the most prolific songwriters and lyricists, and an improvisation virtuosos of her generation.

Lido Pimienta will perform in the BRIC House Ballroom during BRIC OPEN: Borders - Friday.


RAGGA NYC is a hybrid of ideas that began as late night conversations over familial island roots, current social politics, empanadas vs. beef patties, pum pum shorts, scamming and a longing for an authentic dancehall party that provides a space for queer Caribbeans and their kin. A platform founded by Christopher Udemezue (Neon Christina), RAGGA NYC connects a growing network of queer Caribbean artists and allies working across a wide range of disciplines—including visual art, fashion, poetry and more—to explore how race, sexuality, gender, heritage, and history inform their work and their lives. RAGGA fosters an extended family that make space for solidarity, celebration, and expression, with deep commitments to education and grassroots organizing.

Participants in RAGGA x BRIC: Dance Party at 8PM during BRIC OPEN: Borders - Saturday include the following artists and musicians:

  • Serena Jara is a Brooklyn-based DJ, photographer, and videographer. She uses sound as an outlet for her emotions, exploring delusions, anxieties, and overstimulated angst through dance music. In her video and photo based imagery, she reflects on relationships and individuals, especially via collaborations with other queer or trans artists. Her work allows her to find a balance between ideas of abrasiveness, femininity, sensitivity, and introspection.
  • LSDXOXO is a Brooklyn-based DJ and producer. 
  • Oscar Nñ is a Brooklyn-based DJ and co-founder of Papi Juice. Papi Juice is an intentional space for queer & trans people of color based in NYC.
  • Viva Ruiz is an Ecuadorian multidisciplinary performance artist whose work is primarily concerned with the energetic power created when diverse cultures intersect, inform, and mutate the other. 
  • Christopher Udemezue (Neon Christina) has shown at a variety of galleries and museums, including the New Museum, Queens Museum of Art, Bruce High Quality Foundation, and Envoy Enterprises. Born in Long Island, NY,  Udemezue recently has utilized his Jamaican heritage and the complexities of desire for connection, tragedy through personal mythology and public lynching as a primary source. As the founder of the platform RAGGA NYC, he completed a residency with the New Museum "All The Threatened And Delicious Things Joining One Another" this past June 2017. Also being the lead organizing member in the art collective House of Ladosha, Christopher has shown recently in the New Museum’s “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” 40 year anniversary show. 

Albert Saint Jean is the New York City Organizer for the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Having been reared by a community-oriented, politically-aware Haitian-American family, he developed a passion for social justice and black awareness. This worldview is compounded by his exposure to diverse black communities in New Jersey, Florida, and New York. Albert’s Pan-African perspective led him to pursue a bachelors degree in Political Science with a focus on International Affairs from the University of Central Florida. Albert further prepared himself to serve his community by getting his Masters in Urban Policy from the New School, with a focus on community development. During that time he worked on community development projects in black and brown communities such as West  Harlem and Orange, New Jersey.

During BRIC OPEN: Borders, Albert will be part of the panel discussion  "Haiti-NYC-DR: Reflections from the Diaspora" at 4PM on Saturday.


Shared_Studios is a multidisciplinary art, design, and technology collective building an Internet you can walk through. With patented and patent-pending innovations in hardware, software, and design, Shared_Studios creates interconnected environments around the world that feel spatially continuous and through which participants can engage naturally, life-size, making eye contact. Our spaces include Shared_Portals, Shared_Playgrounds, and Shared_Stages. Shared_Studios is creating a Shared_World, where we all talk, work, collaborate, debate, and play across all forms of distance as if sharing the same space.

Shared_Studios will be presenting BRIC_Portal throughout BRIC OPEN: Borders, on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


Jess Thom is a theatre-maker and comedian best known for Touretteshero, an alter-ego and project aimed at increasing awareness of Tourette's syndrome, the neurological condition which she was diagnosed with in her early twenties. The first Touretteshero production, Backstage in Biscuit Land, debuted at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014. The show won critical acclaim and has since toured across the UK and internationally, including various performances across North America and Australia. Following the social model of disability, Thom sees most of the challenges she faces not as a result of her unique neurology and physical impairment, but as a result of the 'disabling barriers' created by society, telling BBC News in 2014, "My wheelchair and my tics are not the thing that disables me; the thing that disables me is the inaccessible environment."

Jess will be speaking as part of the BRIC OPEN: Borders - Closing Day, at 1PM.


Yatziri Tovar was born in Mexico and forced to migrate with her family to New York when she was just two years old due to violence and lack of resources. In 2017, she graduated from The City College of New York with a major in Political Science. Yatziri began to notice the broken immigration system in the United States, motivating her to take action and amplify her own voice as well as those of her community. While in college, Yatziri co-founded and was the president of the CCNY Dream Team, a student club dedicated to empower undocumented students. Yatziri is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. She previously has worked as a college counselor and most recently, Yatziri worked at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York. While at the same time, she continued her advocacy work as a member of Make the Road New York (MRNY), where she joined the team as the Media Specialist in 2018. Yatziri has spoken out at rallies and protests demanding justice for all people, regardless of color, gender, religion or where they were born.

During BRIC OPEN: Borders, Yatziri will be part of the talk with Erika Harrsch called "Reflections on the DACA and the DREAM Act" at 2PM on Saturday.


Cesar Vargas is a nationally recognized leader at the forefront of the fight for immigration reform and the DREAM Act. Mr. Vargas was the National Latino Outreach Strategist for Senator Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. He has been recognized as one of HuffingtonPost’s “Prominent Latinos in American Politics”. Cesar was brought to New York from Mexico at age 5 after his father passed away. He excelled academically and was an honors student in both college and law school. As an undocumented law graduate from the City University of New York School of Law, he led the fight for equal opportunity and access to the practice of law. Cesar works at the heart of the DREAMer movement, the most-vigorous pro-immigrant push by the advocacy communities to date. Nationwide and on Capitol Hill, Cesar and his organization he co-founded, the Dream Action Coalition, have been key players in the policy battle for a better immigration policy. His advocacy and story helped in the national efforts to convince President Obama to take executive action to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a much needed program in light of congressional inaction on immigration reform. Mr. Vargas has also educated immigrants across the country on their rights, spoken on behalf of his community at congressional hearings, volunteered at clinics to help immigrants know their rights, counsels military families dealing with immigration issues, and provides pro-bono representation to children facing deportation in immigration court. The well-known immigrant rights activist was recently brought on board by NY1 a New York cable television station to run a weekly segment answering questions from public on immigration law. Mr. Vargas is a frequent guest as a political commentator on CNN, MSNBC, BRIC TV, FOXNews, Univision, Telemundo. Cesar applied to join the New York bar in 2012, but the Second Department's Committee on Character and Fitness recommended against his application because of his immigration status. In June, 2015, and after nearly three-years legal battle, a five-judge panel in New York ruled that Cesar can be admitted to practice law in the state he has called home for most of his life. In February of 2016, he was finally sworn-in as a licensed attorney making history as the first undocumented lawyer to openly apply to the state of New York.


Kamau Ware is a multidimensional creative blending complementary yet disparate disciplines as an Artist/ Historian. He is best known for his flagship storytelling project, Black Gotham Experience (BGX), a visual storytelling project founded in 2010 that celebrates the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City through a series of walking tours and graphic novels. Ware's Black Gotham Experience has been recognized by The Atlantic and The New York Times, Columbia University’s History in Action Project Award, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Ware has also received prominent commissions, including a public art display in New York City’s Financial District. Recent engagements include the American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting in Austin, TX and the New Museum's Ideas City in New York, NY.

During BRIC OPEN: Borders, Kamau will be leading a walking tour called Borders We Carry on Friday at 6PM and Saturday at 2PM and 6PM.


Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. when she was four years old. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Ibi has been educator for over fifteen years, working as a writer-in-residence and volunteer mentor for organizations such as Teachers & Writers Collaborative and Girls Write Now. She founded creative writing programs and literacy initiatives for teen girls called the Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project and the Brooklyn Blossoms Book Club. Her writing has been published in The New York Times Book Review, the Horn Book Magazine, and The Rumpus, among others. Her debut novel, American Street, a National Book Award Finalist, was published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Her next YA novel, Pride, is due out in the Fall of 2018. Her middle grade debut, My Life as an Ice-Cream Sandwhich, is forthcoming from Dutton/Penguin Books. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their three children.

During BRIC OPEN: Borders, Ibi will be part of the panel discussion  "Haiti-NYC-DR: Reflections from the Diaspora" at 4PM on Saturday.


The Films and Directors participating in BRIC OPEN: Borders - Saturday's Border Shorts Film Series: 

  • The Town I Live In, Dir: Matt Wolf and Guadalupe Rosales
    In L.A.’s Boyle Heights neighborhood, local activists and members of the art community clash over the fate of a beloved neighborhood.
  • DYLAN, Dir: Elizabeth Rohrbaugh 
    DYLAN is a short film written and directed by Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and is based on a interview done with Dylan Winn Garner.  The film follows a young trans man as he explains his story, his exploration in the trans community, his family's acceptance of his identity, and ultimately his physical and emotional transformation. Shot in Coney Island at dawn, the film shows as Dylan literally sheds the layers that have been weighing him down for so many years, and finds a freedom in self love and acceptance.
  • See You Yesterday, Dir: Stefon Bristol
    Presented by Spike Lee, two Brooklyn teenage science prodigies, CJ Walker and Sebastian Thomas, build makeshift time machines to save CJ’s brother, Calbin, from being wrongfully killed by a police officer.
    Brooklyn-born, Long Island-bred, Stefon Bristol is writing his own success story as a fresh face with a creative voice in the indie film world. Stefon is an award-winning filmmaker and recent alumnus of NYU's Graduate Film Program. Stefon's gift is his ability to go deep with his characters; peeling back the layers of a character that looms larger than life and revealing what makes them relatable to audiences in a manner that is both authentic and captivating. While at NYU, Stefon helmed five films including the Cine Golden Eagle Award winner The Bodega. Spike Lee, a longtime mentor, awarded Stefon with the 2016 Spike Lee Production Grant for See You Yesterday, a poignant, sci-fi short film. See You Yesterday is also being adapted into a feature film produced by Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are Back to the Future and Jurassic Park... Don't judge!
  • The Hole, Dir: Billy Feldman and Courtney Sell
    Thirty feet below sea level, infamous mafia dumping ground, and the once home to the Federation of Black Cowboys, The Hole is one of New York City's most unique neighborhoods. The film investigates the diverse, seemingly contradictory, and underrepresented landscape, culture, and history of this small neighborhood between Howard Beach, Queens, and Brooklyn.
  • BioHacker, Dir: Brad Heck & Willow O'Feral
    Brooklyn biohacker Mike Seeler has several body implants including magnets in his fingertips, allowing him to sense electrical fields, and an RFID chip in his hand. Transhumanists integrate technology and the human body in order to enhance their experience and interaction with the world we live in. 
  • Trans-Formation: Profile on Santana, Dir: Sheba Legend
    A transman discusses his experience of craving acceptance, confidence and higher self-esteem. He now battles his dysphoria but knows that the reason he is following through with his transition is his own pursuit of happiness. Listen as he shares the beginnings of his transformation, what it's like to live with dysphoria, and his hopes for the future.
  • Feet in Two Worlds: Mohammed Fayaz, Queer Muslim Artist, Dir: Sriyanka Ray
    Can you be gay and be Muslim? Traditionally, Islam does not tolerate homosexuality but Mohammed Fayaz is pushing the boundaries as a queer Muslim artist—creating art radically opposed to his cultural upbringing while balancing his faith, family and queerness.
  • Hijab, Dir: Emily Lyon, featuring Nikki Massoud and Grace Bernardo. Film by: Jamila Gieseler, Abdalla Hassan, Mark Lee, Britta Olson, Chicava Tate. Written by: Andrea Fleck Cardy.
    Amal is one of the few girls at her high school who wears a hijab. When Olivia, the most popular girl in the junior class, joins her in the cafeteria, they are both in for some surprises. An Intimate Eye Film.
  • Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, Dir: Pei Fong ‘Mol Mol’
    An Alien of Extraordinary Ability is an alien classification in the US, but the feeling as an stranger sometimes exists within all of us. The filmmaker morphed into the body of an alien and asked others what their extraordinary abilities were. Aliens of Extra Ordinary Ability is an experimental short documentary film using open source software and Augmented Reality as tools for cinematic storytelling and reveal the story of four rule bending artists living and working in NYC under the current attitude shift with the US immigration policy. Part of BRIC's 2017 Documentary Intensive cohort.
  • Neighbours, Dir: Norman McLaren (1952)
    This Oscar®-winning short film is a parable about two people who come to blows over the possession of a flower. In this short, Norman McLaren employs the principles normally used to put drawings or puppets into motion to animate live actors.