Samira Mendoza, 2023
Samira Mendoza is a transdisciplinary performance artist, visual artist, curator, and educator based in Brooklyn. Their work centers improvisation through different mediums including sound, sculpture, organizing, and movement to investigate oppressive systems, familial history in Latin America and the Caribbean, and my personal experiences growing up in the South. Mendoza sees improvisation as an act of resistance, a space to reject formal structures and create new ideas.
Their current projects include Dendarry Bakery, Las Mariquitas, Dyspheric, and the Uhaul Disco. Dendarry Bakery is an experimental performance trio including Gladstone Butler and Mobéy Lola Irizarry. Dendarry Bakery combines Afro-Caribbean and electronic percussion, bass, improvisatory Spanglish vocal performance, and childrens games as well as games of the pre-colonization era to pose reflections on mother-tongues, queerness, transness, and liberation. Las Mariquitas is a queer and trans-centered Salsa band aiming to create space for people to feel safe and comfortable in a genre that is usually cis-hetero dominated. Dyspheric is a collective based in Pittsburgh that centers black and brown queer and trans DJs including: Steph Alona, Jessica Fuquay, and Vashon Lee. The Uhaul Disco is a sporadic DIY party made to connect people from different cultures and generations to celebrate each other.