Originally from Portland, Oregon, Nikesha Breeze lives and works in the high desert of Taos, New Mexico, on the unceded land of the Taos Pueblo People. Nikesha is an African American descendant of the Mende people of Sierra Leone and Assyrian American Immigrants from Iran. Nikesha has shown work nationally and internationally within multiple museums, galleries, art fairs, and featured collections. In 2021 Nikesha’s 5000 sg ft. solo exhibition Four Sites of Return; Ritual, Remembrance, Reparation, Reclamation gained national acclaim and was featured in American Art Collector, Hyperallergic, Metalsmith Magazine and the New York \Times. Nikesha was awarded international recognition at the 2018 International ArtPrize exhibition, winning the juried 3D Grand Prize Award and the Contemporary Black Arts Award for their Sculptural installation: 108 Death Masks: A communal prayer for Peace and Justice. In 2019 Nikesha was invited to Ghana to work as a visiting artist on the historical Nymkimkym Installation of African History, created by award-winning international artist Kwame Acoto Bamfo. In 2021 Nikesha was a National Performance Network Creative Fund and Development Fund Grant Recipient for their collaborative work, Stages of Tectonic Blackness. See their work at:
 www.nikeshabreeze.com or Instagram @nikeshabreeze

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  • A Mutiny of Morning: Reclaiming the Black Body from Heart of Darkness

    Nikesha Breeze has taken pages from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, taken his words, and forced them to leave his colonized mind. She has made the words her own in poetic form. She illuminates the invisible Black voices inside, a radical, surgical, and unapologetic Black appropriation, at the same time as a careful birthing and spiritual road map. The resulting poems are sizzling purifications, violent restorations of integrity, pain, wound, bewilderment, rage, and, sometimes, luminous generosity. This is a work of Reclamation. The author, Nikesha Breeze, has slowly, page by page, reclaimed the text of the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. This racist turn-of-the-19th-century book was pivotal in the continued dehumanization of Black people and in particular of African people, as it painted an image of bestiality on the Congo people and the continent. It is laced with racist imagery and language. The author has reappropriated the book, page by page, making “BlackOut” poetry for each page, isolating methodically the words to create new poems of power and black voice within the text —stealing the language and reappropriating the power.