Disrupt/ed (a mem-noir) by Pamela Woolford A MEMOIR & MULTI-SENSORY EXHIBITION

With illustrations by nationally-syndicated editorial cartoonist Walt Carr.


mem-noir: [mem-nwär] NOUN, A brief memoir, written in short paragraphs, concerned with being a person of the Black race within the context of a specified subject. Visual art or photographs, especially biographical in nature, are often incorporated.

A Pamela Woolford Project

Supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, a Changemaker Challenge Award from Horizon Foundation and United Way of Central Maryland, a NES Artist Residency in Iceland, and Busboys and Poets, Disrupt/ed (a mem-noir) will be two standalone pieces of art, a Pamela Woolford literary memoir with drawings by editorial cartoonist Walt Carr and a multi-sensory exhibition with performative photos and videos of Woolford. In the project Pamela Woolford explores her early childhood in the 1970s in the planned integrated town of Columbia, Maryland, amidst this nation's legacy of enslavement of Black people, like her. The memoir includes an appendix on Black Freedom Visionaries from her hometown.

With the creation of Disrupt/ed (a mem-noir), Woolford originates the term "mem-noir."

BOOK launch, summer 2020

Busboys and Poets (coming to Columbia, MD, in 2020), “a cultural hub for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers”

EXHIBITION premieres October 2020

The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at The Smith Center, Washington, DC, exhibiting “fine art that explores the innate connection between healing and creativity”

“What legacy do U.S. presidents leave Black Americans through their bigotry against the Black race?”

Pamela Woolford at NES Artist Residency in Iceland, where she conceived and produced one of the videos forDisrupt/ed (a mem-noir). (Photo by Bridget Turner.)

Thank you Amy Roost, Walt Carr, Daniel Grant, Chelsea Lowe, NES Artist Residency, Andy Shallal and Busboys and Poets, Lindsey Yancich and Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Betty Mosley, Ian Chung and Eunoia Review, Claudia Toman and Briefe aus Amerika, Fabrice Monteiro, Bridget Turner, OkCello, Denee Barr, Towanda Worozbyt, Veda Frye, Sarah Trembath, Sadie Woolford, Smithsonian Museum of African American History & CultureChangemaker Challenge, Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, and Maryland State Arts Council's Creativity Grant program! To discover more about MSAC and how they impact Maryland, visit msac.org.

The Impetus for

Disrupt/ed (a mem-noir)

In 2017 Pamela Woolford wrote an essay entitled “Here I Am Looking,” in which she discusses aspects of her life, the Trump election, and America’s legacy of enslavement. The essay was soon published in Eunoia Review, just before the first Women’s March in Washington, DC, and was later translated into German for Briefe aus Amerika and selected for anthologies. In 2018 the essay led to NPR Snap Judgement producer Amy Roost interviewing Woolford for her podcast Fury. During that interview, Woolford spoke about her finding politics traumatic long before the Trump election. That conversation, subsequent emails with Roost, and ultimately a flood of childhood memories created the seed for Disrupt/ed (a mem-noir).

For more info on Pamela Woolford: