University of Maryland, College Park PhD Student Raises Funds to Honor Women Artists Across African Diaspora

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Live Unchained launched an online campaign to raise $15,000 for its “Terrifying, Strange, and Beautiful” awards ceremony that honors the diversity and complexity of black women all over the world.

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The fundraiser will help us secure the resources to put on an exciting event to truly honor these women that have inspired so many of our readers and supporters.

Live Unchained™, the international arts events and media organization featuring works by women artists across the African Diaspora, has launched an online campaign to raise $15,000 for its “Terrifying, Strange, and Beautiful” awards ceremony in partnership with London-based, Somali poet, Warsan Shire.

Live Unchained's 1st annual award ceremony "Terrifying, Strange & Beautiful" is named after a line from one of Shire's well-known poems, “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love.” The ceremony will honor women featured on their growing online magazine at liveunchained.com where they’ve interviewed over 100 women from over 16 countries. Additionally, Live Unchained will host a workshop with Shire on healing through narrative, and a panel discussion on cultural activism.

Kathryn Buford, Live Unchained’s founder is an alumni of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Sociology PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also a member of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, Entrepreneur Academy. Her research explores the sociology of art, social entrepreneurship and resistance across the African diapsora.

Buford explains: “We created Live Unchained to honor the diversity and complexity of who we are as black women. Too often, dominant media representations don’t reflect our different perspectives, experiences and even nations we come from and languages we speak. And black women are still often under-represented in art institutions and media. For four years, we’ve been showcasing women that defy expectations in the worlds of art and media. The fundraiser will help us secure the resources to put on an exciting event to truly honor these women that have inspired so many of our readers and supporters.”

Shire looks forward to “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” sharing: “I would absolutely love to come out, it would be brilliant and I am humbled by the invitation.”

Shire’s first book of poetry “Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth” tells stories about women, love, loneliness, and war. She is also the 2007 International Slam Champion, and has read her engaging poems internationally, most recently in South Africa, Italy, and Germany. Her poems have been translated into Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. She has also been featured in prestigious media outlets like Vogue Italia. Apart from her own writing, Shire has edited an issue of Sable LitMag and is currently the poetry editor at SPOOK Magazine.

About Live Unchained:
Live Unchained™ is an international arts media and events organization incorporated by President, Kathryn Buford in 2009. Through the growing webzine at http://www.liveunchained.com, Live Unchained™ has provided exciting features and intimate interviews with over 100 female artists of African descent from over 16 different countries to a broad international audience of creative free thinkers.

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Kathryn Buford

Líliana Steffens
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