Making a Scene Interview: Malidoma Collective



Leading up to Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Spaces, a visual art exhibition with accompanying events that spotlights a rich history of Bay Area artist-run, independent and alternative spaces, intern Michael Fontana talked with curator and creative director Sasha Kelly about the Malidoma Collective, its identity and nature, particularly as an alternative and community space for women of color to practice art and healing.

[Michael Fontana] What circumstances led to the founding of the Malidoma Collective?

[Sasha Kelly] When Charmaine Davis and I met in 2011 we were active in various male dominated spaces. From then we sought to built on the concept of a collective that was a resource and platform for women of color. For a few years we produced various events and art shows. In 2014 the collective element went full force with the addition of our current structure and amazing members, which is a constant evolution.

[MF] What is the particular significance of your contribution to Making a Scene, and how does it intersect with the identity and mission of the Malidoma collective?

[SK] We are contributing various forms of our artwork to Making a Scene. In doing this we are amplifying the vision and voices of women of color, which is our mission as a collective.

[MF] How have the goals and challenges of the Malidoma Collective shifted with the changing Bay Area, over time?

[SK] Within the last two years there has been a reinsurance of female connectivity. This has been a beautiful thing for the Bay Area. Now there are many different collectives serving women of color and it has allowed us to expand our work as a community.

[MF] How are individual goals and identities mobilized through the community medium of the Malidoma Collective?

[SK] Thus far Malidoma has served as a sisterhood, holding space for women of color to work together through business, artistic and personal affairs. We have also created a hub of resources for members to activate their individual goals.

[MF] How does the alternative space of the Malidoma Collective reorder the nature and function of both art and the artist?

[SK] Malidoma strives to keep art out of just an aesthetic place, bringing ritual and community into the process.

[MF] How does it constitute a socially regenerative community?

[SK] With the creation of various forms of social engagement Malidoma is creating a give / take / give relationship between artist and community.


The exhibition: Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Spaces is on view from July 9th – August 20th, 2015.

About the Author:
Michael Fontana is a Communications Intern for SOMArts Cultural Center and a undergraduate student at Oberlin College.