Last fall, when I asked Fahamu Pecou who he would most like to engage in conversation at the StoryCorps studio, he responded without hesitation: his two children, Oji and Ngozi. He wanted to tell them why he makes art. Because they are why he makes art.
Perhaps he tells his children this story every week, or maybe he never had before. Either way, this moment feels like a first true bestowal, which really gets to the magic of the StoryCorps studio and the energy that comes from knowing your time together will be catalogued forever in the Library of Congress.
Give this a listen, and then launch into daydreams of the stories you have to bestow, and upon whom.
Fahamu Pecou is a visual artist and scholar whose works combine observations on hip hop, fine art, and popular culture. Pecou’s paintings, performance art, and academic work address concerns around contemporary representations of Black masculinity and how these images impact both the reading and performance of Black masculinity.
Currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University’s Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA), Pecou maintains an active exhibition schedule and conducts public lectures and speaking engagements at colleges and museums nationwide.
His work is featured in noted private and public collections, including the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the High Museum of Art, Paul R. Jones Collection, Clark Atlanta University Art Collections, the West Collection, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia.
Oji Nyasa Pecou is a rising 6th grader at the Children’s School in Atlanta. An avid reader, Oji loves to get lost in fantasy novels like The Red Pyramid series, Maleficent, Thea Sisters and Drama to name a few. She also enjoys drawing, playing the guitar and making video shorts on her iPod Touch.
Ngozi Fahamu Peco is excited to begin kindergarten in the fall at the Children’s School. In the meantime, he spends his days playing with Iron Man or racing Mario and Wario on his MarioKart racetrack. When he’s not consumed with his toys or playing soccer outdoors, he looks after his four fish; Rapunzel, Merida, Hiccup, and Jackfrost.
Loveseat features artists talking with their favorite people in the intimate StoryCorps studio at the Atlanta History Center. BURNAWAY’s published excerpts from Loveseat conversations seek to expand our understanding of how artists live, think, and make art in Atlanta. A wild and ever-growing document, Loveseat captures personal histories, local histories, relationships, communities, obsessions, quandaries, plans, processes, coincidences, jokes, and secrets—all with equal enthusiasm.
Maggie Ginestra is a writer, collaborator, curator and facilitator based in Atlanta. She is the co-founder and programming director of Sumptuary, and also facilitates WonderRoot’s 2014/15 Walthall Artist Fellowship, designs collaborative processes as a member of Unicorn Projects and helps to support several other arts initiatives such as Idea Capital, Dance Chance Atlanta, and Mighty Rights Media.
*Thanks to Luke McKenzie Webster for his diligent audio editing.
BURNAWAY is a community partner of StoryCorps Atlanta. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.
BURNAWAY Radio is supported in part by Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts.