Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Empress Zingha calls on local artists to speak out through their art

Empress Zingha at the Black Lives Matter Protest making a statement with fellow artists

Empress Zingha at the Black Lives Matter Protest making a statement with fellow artists

Creator and entrepreneur, Empress Zingha wants Bajan artists to speak out with their art.

The 34-year-old artist and performer has been a big part of the recent Black Lives Matter protests in Barbados. Not quick initially to take the label of 'activist', she said she understands how she could be considered as such though.

"I just speak or write on things that inspire me enough to encourage conversation about them. I love that I can connect with others who experience my art...When you see yourself, you become your most authentic self, because you understand and love yourself. If that is a form of activism - then okay. Yea, I’m an activist," Empress Zingha told Loop.

The entrepreneur and co-owner of the GineOn brand says she feels obligated to be a part of the wellspring of activism and explained why Black Lives Matter is rooted in Barbados.

"I know for some, this may seem like a waste of time, however for me, the Black Lives Matter Movement is not just in America, it actually started here, in Barbados. Every black person in the World with African heritage, their African ancestors can be traced back to that same cage where [Lord Horatio] Nelson [statue in Bridgetown] now stands," she stated.

Being inspired by Beyonce, Empress Zingha wants artists to use this time to also not just express themselves but to educate.

She urged:

"Create, create, create! Now is the time to highlight things in your work. Speak on the issues and use your voice not just for expression but also for education. I just listened to Beyonce’s new song 'Black Parade' and I felt so good because there are things in the content that represents me. Artists are speaking out and trying to encourage conversations.".

And as for herself, well she intends to be making that the focal point of her work going forward, more edutainment.

"I am definitely going to be doing more of that in the coming weeks.  A lot more writing, performing, teaching, and educating myself and others who ask. [I am going to be] Strengthening and intensifying what we have been doing in my household, and amplifying the gold that is my melanin."

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