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Carter, Clinton, Trump: A Mem-Noir by Pamela Woolford A Memoir & Interactive, Multi-Sensory Exhibition with Augmented Reality

With illustrations by editorial cartoonist Walt Carr.

Production still from footage shot by Daniel Grant.

#MemNoir

mem-noir: [mem-nwär] NOUN, A 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 autobiographical in nature, may be 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, and a NES Artist Residency in Iceland, Carter, Clinton, Trump: A Mem-Noir will be two standalone pieces of art, a Pamela Woolford literary memoir with drawings by editorial cartoonist Walt Carr and an interactive, multi-sensory exhibition with augmented-reality performative photos and videos of Woolford. The memoir provokes the question “What legacy do U.S. presidents leave Black Americans through their bigotry against the Black race?” In the project Pamela Woolford explores bruises of our nation’s racial history left on Woolford, a Black woman from the planned integrated American town of Columbia, Maryland, from girlhood to middle age. The memoir includes an appendix on Black freedom visionaries from her hometown.

With the creation of Carter, Clinton, Trump: 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 the first video for Carter, Clinton, Trump: 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, Sadie Woolford, Changemaker 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 Carter, Clinton, Trump: 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 Carter, Clinton, Trump: A Mem-Noir.

For more info on Pamela Woolford: