“I AM DELIBERATE AND AFRAID OF NOTHING.”~ AUDRE LORDE
“I’M A REBEL WITH A CAUSE”~NINA SIMONE
The first time I heard “Four Women” by Nina Simone I got chills. To me, there are three important elements to storytelling in any form of artistic expression:
1. It immediately conveys and connects to raw emotion
2. It provides a subtle glimpse behind the subtext of the subject
3. There is a thread of connectivity that makes the piece or the subject matter relatable
For me, Simone’s “Four Women” did all three, juxtaposing black female archetypes that stem from our past with how those archetypes influence us today. In 2013 when L.A. artist Kenturah Davis completed her large scale mural installation for International Women’s Day in Ghana, she channeled those three elements into a piece influenced by “Four Women”.
This video set to Nina Simone’s classic, emotionally haunting song shows the artist draw life into four women, each with unique stories and all making strong contributions within their communities. Davis chose to create the entire piece by repeating Audre Lorde’s quote, “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing” in script across the entire mural, creating a connected theme among all four women. The two works harmonize in this video in an incredible way.