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What Grows? (Prelude to After the Fire)
Acrylic paint on concrete
MoMA PS1, Queens, NY 
2021 - 2022

Artists Nanibah Chacon (@nanibah), Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (@tlynnfaz), and Layqa Nuna Yawar (@layqanunayawar) began this project in 2020 as an invitation by MoMA PS1 to activate the museum’s facade with a new socially engaged mural project. This process started with self reflection and interrogation of what the most pressing matters of the time, confronting how we are collectively facing our Fires.

From its inception the goal was to create a public facing art work that is reflective of community. Utilizing the wall, not as medium, or a barrier; but as a mirror reflecting the images and thoughts of  the those who live and care for their communities back in to the landscape they reside.

Imperative to this project was opening up this conversation as discourse to those on the ground, in our families and communites taking on active change to better our futures. What had started as discourse and self interrogation lead to audacious dreaming and how we can support one another in growth toward the future. These cultivated conversations became the catalyst for the imagery and dialogue  essential to what we see today and future projects  acknowledging what happens after the fire?

Thought these workshops the process accumulated over 800 portraits photographs, 6 hours of recorded interviews, and multiple drafts and design sketches in order to be facilitated on the front and back of the Jackson ave wall as two sets of murals. This current mural is a prelude to that larger work. It is titled “what grows?” and this is the idea we are aiming to open up as the imperative question facing us today as we think of a world emerging from metaphorical fires.

We want to specifically thank Kelly and Jeremy Dennis for being the photographer and the model for this first mural. Thanks also go out to three local Queens community groups—Transform America (@transformamerica_), Make the Road (@maketheroadny), and members of the Shinnecock, Unkechaug, and Matinecock Nations, organized by Tecumseh Ceaser (@nativetec) for helping us make this part of the project a reality.
© Layqa Nuna Yawar 2023. All Rights Reserved.