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Medea Project's Rhodessa Jones: Sights & Sounds


Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Medea Project founder Rhodessa Jones told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.



Topdog/Underdog, by Suzan-Lori Parks, follows two brothers Lincoln and Booth, who are barely scraping by in urban America: the former works as a Lincoln impersonator, the latter deals three-card Monte.

As each brother begins to make his own play for independence, the stakes between the siblings rise, paving the way for a collision of ambition and ego.

Parks's Pultizer Prize-winning drama explores the complexities of brotherhood, masculinity, rivalry, and power — and the uncertain spaces that lie between love and hate, luck and skill, victor and victim.

"I saw it 4 or 5 years ago, I think it was maybe A.C.T., but I would love to see what [Ubuntu's] going to do with it because it'll be mind-expanding, it's going to make us look again at history."

Join th Museum Of The African Diaspora (MoAD) for a champagne toast and then a multi-course dinner at the St. Regis, with a lively conversation between Chef Tanya Holland and Shakirah Simley, co-founder of Nourish | Resist, about Holland’s life as a celebrity chef, and her thoughts on today’s hot topics related to food, race, and gender. MoAD plays a vital role in the local arts community and is uniquely positioned as one of the few museums in the world focused exclusively on African Diaspora culture and on presenting the rich cultural heritage of the people of Africa and of African-descended cultures all across the globe.

"I saw my first Kehinde Wiley at MoAD. I just think if you're not going to make the dinner, go to MoAD! Just go! And have an afternoon!"

This exhibition features a selection of World War I and II-era posters from the collection of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, shown alongside films, ephemera, and textiles from the 1910s to the 1940s.

The design and content of these works demonstrate consistent strategies for selling ideas and manipulating public opinion that persist to the present day.

During the World War I, complex military operations were needed to drop propaganda leaflet bombs from airplanes, saturating the landscape with paper messages targeting enemy soldiers and civilians. Ephemeral printed materials, in addition to radio broadcasts and motion pictures, were the primary vehicles of propaganda during the first half of the twentieth century.

Among the most powerful tools of psychological warfare, propaganda posters weaponized the art of graphic design.

"I think the whole idea of the art of propaganda, where does this stuff come from, who is doing this, how are we manipulated, and we don't even know about it!"

Rhodessa Jones and the Medea Project hold staged readings of their newest work, Voices from the Edge, at Gateway Theater on 6/11 and 6/12.