This is a work of Reclamation. The author, Nikesha Breeze, has slowly, page by page, reclaimed the text of the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. This racist turn-of-the-19th-century book was pivotal in the continued dehumanization of Black people and in particular of African people, as it painted an image of bestiality on the Congo people and the continent. It is laced with racist imagery and language. The author has reappropriated the book, page by page, making “BlackOut” poetry for each page, isolating methodically the words to create new poems of power and black voice within the text —stealing the language and reappropriating the power.
Within an interdisciplinary practice of painting, sculpture, installation, filmmaking, and performance art, Nikesha Breeze’s work investigates the interrelational and resilience of the black and queer body in relationship to power, vulnerability, the sacred, and the ancestral. Her work is deeply ritual and process-based, often employing her entire physical body in the action of her work. Originally from Portland, Oregon Nikesha Breeze lives and works in the high desert of New Mexico. She is an American born African Diaspora descendant of the Mende People of Sierra Leone, and Assyrian American Immigrants from Iran.