Artists & Projects Directory
The America Project
The 2010 America Project Commission is Marc Bamuthi Joseph's red, black & GREEN: a blues.
red, black & GREEN: a blues ("rbGb") is a full-length, multimedia performance work designed to jumpstart a conversation about environmental justice, social ecology and collective responsibility in the climate change era. The creation of rbGb utilized a dynamic research-to-performance methodology yielding community input as artistic resource material; specifically, the voices of people in black and brown communities often left out of discussions about "living green." Research took place through Life is Living, a series of community eco-festivals in urban parks nationwide featuring art, activism and education. Interviews, poems, films and murals from Life is Living were translated by Joseph and his collaborators into text, choreography and imagery that express the challenge of living green where violent crime and poor education pose a more imminent danger than ecological crisis, and that reveal emerging definitions of environmentalism in these communities.
rbGb premiered in October 2011 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and tours nationally in 2012. Contextualization materials include a series of five short videos focused on specific aspects of the artists' process in bringing this work to the stage, and an essay by Shannon Jackson (University of California at Berkeley) exploring the ways in which Joseph's engagement with communities in the research and development of rbGb profoundly affected his thinking about the content and form of the work. In addition, the artists have designed community engagement activities for the tour, many of which will be documented for The America Project Public Exchange.