No Such Place as America, ongoing
No Such Place as America is a project created in collaboration with Patricia Kelly, the Founding Executive Director of Ebony Horsewomen Institute (EHI); members of the Hartford Police Department; School Security Officers; and local high school students. This team will combine equine therapy, involving performance based tasks with specially trained horses, and participatory narrative techniques, to form a new shared, non-verbal, creative vocabulary. The focus on non-verbal communication is to facilitate understanding of different group’s approaches to confrontation, opposition and conflict. The young people in the working group are accomplished equestrians who work at EHI. Though equine therapy does not necessarily involve riding horses, having young people in a position of mastery shifts the power dynamic involved in everyday interactions with law enforcement.
The project’s trans-disciplinary methods will be documented in order to be borrowed and reproduced in other communities.
In addition, methods used to visualize varying approaches conflict and imbalanced power relations will be used to create a series of short films.
This project was made possible with research funding from Parsons School of Design, and the generous support of A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art, 2018.