For Memorial Day Weekend 2022, artist, writer and activist John Sims will present AfroDixia: Journey To Justice in Austin, Texas. This multimedia event is part of a 20-year project that engages Confederate iconography, white supremacist cultural politics and transformative healing, featuring the artist’s 7th annual Burn and Bury performance, film screening and Afro-Dixie remixes. This series of events will be organized by Austin Film Society, DadaLab and Sockeye Arts/Resistencia Books, and co-sponsored by Austin Justice Coalition and Six Square.
Of them Films by John Sims: Sunday, May 29, 2022, 5 p.m.
6259 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, TX
The series of events begins at the Austin Film Society’s AFS Theater with two films directed by John Sims and with a discussion to follow with Austin Film Society founding board member Chale Nafus.
The films shown are:
Operating time 50:07 minutes
This multimedia work is a collection of six short films that follows the journey of John Sims’ creative process in studying, interrogating, and bringing to justice the Confederate mindset and its associated symbols, while seeking ways to reimagine and recreate those same symbols as instruments healing, recovery and transformation.
For more information, visit: https://www.austinfilm.org/screening/recoloration-proclamation/
Afro-Dixie Remixes: Confederate Chapel/VMF Listening Session
Set in the Confederate Memorial Chapel at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, this documentary film captures a series of responses to Sims’ 13 years. Afro-DixieRemixes project, a 14-track collection that reimagines the song Dixie (the Confederacy Anthem) in the style of the following black music genres: spiritual, blues, gospel, jazz, funk, calypso, samba, soul, rhythm & blues, house and hip hop.
For more information, visit: https://www.austinfilm.org/scr…/recoloration-proclamation/
Burn and Bury 2022: Monday, May 30, 2022, 2 p.m.
2824 Real Street, Austin TX
DadaLab will host the main event, the 7th Annual Burn and Bury Confederate Flag: Memorial Day 2022, on Monday, May 30 at 2 p.m., hosted by John Sims and featuring Chas Moore, co-founder of the Austin Justice Coalition, the performance artist Dragonfly, and poet/writer Brooke Elise Axtell. A sharing reception will follow.
In 2015, Sims launched a national call to burn and bury Confederate flags in response to the Charleston Nine Murders, to confront the legacy of American slavery and to honor the memory of social justice soldiers who fought against slavery, for civil rights and to fight against the current institutional and cultural white supremacy. This led to the creation of the annual Burn and Bury Memorial Day event, The Burn and Bury Video Anthem and one Burn and Bury the Confederate Flag Support Kit .This annual performance seeks to create a new ritual for all Americans to engage in a time and space of healing and transformation.
For more on this project, see Sims’ CNN OP-ED article, Don’t resurrect the Confederacy – dezombify it. AND https://youtu.be/_zBbiR9Lw10
For the live visit johnsimsprojects.com/live.
Afro-Dixie Remixes listening session: Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 6 p.m.
2000 Thrasher Ln., Austin, TX
This final event will be hosted by Red Salmon Arts/resistance books featuring a listening session of the double LP project Afro-DixieRemixes, a sound project that confronts the song Dixie – the anthem of the Confederacy through remixing, remapping and cross-appropriation with a collection of 14 Dixie tracks in the many genres of black music: spiritual, blues, gospel, jazz, funk, calypso, samba, soul, rhythm & blues, house and hip-hop. The Austin community will be invited to come listen and discuss the tracks in preparation for a subsequent performative listening session.
Recoloration Proclamation, is a project system that features recolored Confederate flags; a suspended installation at Gettysburg; funerals under the Confederate flag from 13 southern states; videos; site-specific performance; a piece; a collection of experimental films; the AfroDixieRemixes music project, the annual Burn and Bury Confederate Flag Memorial; and the Kennedy Museum’s outdoor performance and exhibit on “The Proper Way to Hang to a Confederate Flag” at Ohio University, the installation of the world’s largest African-Confederate battle flag on the steps of the South Carolina Capitol building. Over the years, this work has incorporated more e150 collaborators including poets, musicians and artists from all over the country.
For more on the artist’s thoughts behind this project, check out his Huffington Post article, Burn and Bury Memorial: Birth of a Ritual, and his 2017 Detroit Free Press opinion piece: Why I Burn and Bury the Confederate Flag in Detroit.
“I hope this work can provide a way to confront the deeply insidious nature of Confederate iconography, the trauma of white supremacy, and the legacy of American slavery through the creative process and agency of re- imagination, re-souling, and righteous confiscation while providing an inspiring space for reflection, reckoning, and recuperation toward a greater understanding of Southern heritage and a more just America. excited to come to Austin and share this work with a creative and political community ready to challenge the Confederate mindset and embrace the difficult path of recovery, healing and social justice.” – John Sims, 2022
The Austin Justice Coalition (AJC) “serves people who are historically and systemically impacted by gentrification, segregation, overpolicing, lack of educational and employment opportunities, and other institutional forms of racism in Austin.”
The mission of Square Six is “to preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage of the African-American community that once thrived in East Central Austin through cultural arts, education, economic development, and historic preservation”.
Austin Film Society was “founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and unites the community around great film. AFS supports filmmakers toward career leaps, encouraging outstanding artistic endeavors with grants and support services.”
dadaLab “offers a flexible space for an interdisciplinary mix of artists, designers, technologists, futurists and creative entrepreneurs. The people at dadalab work on everything from new ventures and ambitious art installations to provocative experiments in architecture, social enterprise and urban design.”
sockeye arts is “a grassroots cultural arts organization, with a thirty-year history of working with Indigenous neighborhoods in Austin. RSA is dedicated to developing emerging writers and promoting Chicana/o/x/Latina/o /x/Native American literature, providing outlets and mechanisms for cultural exchange and sharing the recovery of a people’s cultural heritage with a commitment to social justice.
Biography of the artist – John Sims, a Detroit-based, Sarasota-based multimedia artist, writer, and activist who creates art and curatorial projects spanning the fields of installation, performance, text, music, film, and large-scale activism scale, informed by math, design, white supremacy politics, sacred symbols/anniversaries, and poetic/political text. For 20 years he has worked at the forefront of contemporary mathematical art and led the national pushback of Confederate iconography.
Currently, he is artist-in-residence at La Mama Experimental Theater Club in New York and at the Ringling Museum, where he developed the new 2020 performance piece: (Di)Visions of America. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC News, USA Today, US News & World Report, NPR, The Guardian, ThinkProgress, Al Jazeera, Art in America, Sculpture, Hyperallergic, New Art Examiner, Science News, Nature and Scientific American. He wrote for CNN, AlJazeera, Tampa Bay Weather, Detroit Free Press, The Huffington Post, Guernica magazineand Ruckus and LeGrio.