Exhibition of video works by artist/physician Brandi Shah, with COVID-safe reception.
Vinegar presents: Brandi Shah: Sawubona/Sala Kahle
701 37th Street South #12 Birmingham, AL 35222
Face coverings and social distancing required. Limit 4 persons in gallery at a time.
Exhibition is on view February 19, 2021–March 27, 2021. Gallery hours Saturdays 10am–2pm and by appointment.
Exhibition reception Friday, February 19 from 5–8pm.
Reception attendees who are not actively viewing the artwork may enjoy a socially-distanced reception outdoors with fire pits and refreshments, including s’mores and a free signature hot cocktail by George Dickel Tennessee Whisky.
In Sawubona/Sala Kahle, Birmingham-based writer and digital storyteller, Brandi Shah, explores the instinctive conversations that occur between language and visual stimuli. Experimenting with still images, animation, photography, video editing, found media and sounds has been a liberating process in imagining how words can be enlivened in new, interpretive ways. Time (specifically its impermanence), memory and the sheer necessity of sharing stories motivate all of her work. This exhibit is concerned with the documentation of events/experiences and the question of how intersectionally diverse audiences internalize universal touchpoints. While the pieces traverse a spectrum of digital articulation—traditional digital story; digital poetry; emergent, cross-genre collaboration; narrative advocacy—their unifying gaze invites you to explore the individual and collective power in reimagining and reclaiming oppressive narratives.
She believes that all of this—and infinitely more—is possible with the scaffold of language, the indispensable inspiration of story, and the guidance of authentic collaboration, community-building and human connection. The title of the exhibition combines Zulu words for greeting and leave-taking, respectively–words in the fabric of her heart’s lexicon since living in Swaziland almost two decades ago. Sawubona translates to “I see you,” an intentional greeting offered indiscriminately to every person no matter the situation or circumstance. Sala kahle translates to “stay well.” We need more of this everyday love-language in our ever-healing world now and forever. In order to see each other, we must allow ourselves to be unconditionally seen; to leave others in wellness, we must go and come with a sense of not only good intention but uplifting impact. This is my first exhibit; I present it to you with this spirit and hope.
Brandi Shah is a family medicine physician who specializes in adolescent and young adult health. She is the inaugural Director of the Office of Identity, Inclusion and Collective Conscience in the UAB Department of Family and Community Medicine. She is a stalwart advocate for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice. She is also a loving and proud member of a multicultural family including her husband and two young children. Before she served any of these roles, she has been a lifelong creative writer/poet for her own personal growth, catharsis and enjoyment. Most recently, she expanded boundaries in her writing practice to develop an identity as a digital artist and storyteller. Combining her passions for storytelling and health justice, her ultimate vision is to create a community storytelling lab for health justice that can serve as a “third place” where people of all identities, groups, perspectives, burdens and histories can congregate, affirm, collaborate and reclaim narratives about health and resilience for catharsis, collective voice, public awareness, advocacy and social change.
Brandi is excited and grateful to collaborate with Birmingham artist, Celeste Amparo Pfau, on the digital poem “Woman in the Alley.” Celeste is an interdisciplinary artist who makes fine art as well as interactive public art installations. Her work is often inspired by the diverse natural and human cultural world of Birmingham. Celeste’s materials and methods are multifaceted. She is native to Birmingham, but also cherishes her experiences of living and traveling elsewhere around the country and world, gaining invaluable experiences about life, culture, art and creativity. Follow her on Instagram @amparo_creative_house.
2021/02/19 - 2021/03/27
Additional time info:
Face coverings and social distancing required. Limit 4 persons in gallery at a time. Exhibition is on view February 19, 2021–March 27, 2021. Gallery hours Saturdays 10am–2pm and by appointment. Exhibition reception Friday, February 19 from 5–8pm. Reception attendees who are not actively viewing the artwork may enjoy a socially-distanced reception outdoors with fire pits and refreshments, including s’mores and a free signature hot cocktail by George Dickel Tennessee Whisky.