‘A Funky Meditation on Gentrification’

Musicians and cast members of “Brer Rabbit the Opera: A Funky Meditation on Gentrification" (Photo by Elizabeth Graham via The Brooklyn Paper)

Musicians and cast members of “Brer Rabbit the Opera: A Funky Meditation on Gentrification” (Photo by Elizabeth Graham via The Brooklyn Paper)

African folk tales and funk music help shape an opera on gentrification entitled “Brer Rabbit the Opera: A Funky Meditation on Gentrification,” by Bedford–Stuyvesant performance artist Aisha Cousins.

The inspiration for the work comes from folk stories of the wily rabbit, “a character known practically everywhere the African Diaspora has touched,” Cousins told The Brooklyn Paper’s Max Jaeger.

“I was really interested in the idea of briar patches as a metaphor for predominantly black neighborhoods,” said performance artist Aisha Cousins. “One of the most famous stories is where he gets caught by his nemesis, and the way he gets out of it is he tricks his nemesis into throwing him into a briar patch under the pretense that he’ll die there — but he escapes, because he was actually born there.”

Cousins traveled around Brooklyn collecting folks’ personal stories about gentrification as material for the opera, which is set in a futuristic analog of the predominantly black Bedford–Stuyvesant called the Briar Patch — a neighborhood that, like the Bedford–Stuyvesant of today, is at a tipping point.

“I was interested in unique things about gentrifying black neighborhoods — what’s there, what’s lost — and cultural loss was a major theme,” Cousins said. You can watch a sneak-peak of a work-in-progress performance at Bric House on Jan. 22 and 23.

Read more on Cousins’ background and on Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, which will perform the music, at The Brooklyn Paper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

https://www.bachelortreats.com/about-us/ https://www.sexxxotoy.com/about-us/