I’m not sure why but every time I feel an urge to create its either for Black folk, about Black folk, with Black folk or ideally all of the above (chuckle). I guess I’m not a maker for maker’s sake. There’s clearly something my work is supposed to unpack maybe for me, my family, my ancestors, those to come… all of us. So ya my identity is always deeply entangled with my subject matter, which can be heavy at times but most days it gives me a sense of focus, purpose and urgency.
- Annick MF
I’m writing a book. It’s part memoir part journal part handbook. Honestly I didn’t expect to be writing a book at this point my life, especially not this book but somewhere along my master’s program and becoming a mother, this book decided to hatch and now I’m journeying with my vision to see where the story ends. In its first draft which I made from my master’s thesis it was called MF’s Handbook to Navigating Blackness in Montreal and I described it as a youth-aimed handbook narrated by a character called MF, who represents my younger self. In this draft MF invited young readers to join her as she spoke about the process of becoming critical and informed about the factors that shape how Blackness is understood in Montreal and how this idea of Blackness impacts her lived experience as a Black girl in Montreal. A lot of these elements will likely still be present in the end product but there’ll also be a lot more of me in there this time around. Poems I’ve been holding onto for years, visual memories I want to share, affirmations and questions that have been by my side as I navigated this world. I feel that my creative process in my first draft was too linear, likely because I was creating under academic pressure but as our communities know we’ve always learned first and foremost from each other’s stories. I’m just working on how to best share mine.
Coming to a bookstore near you in Fall 2019! #goals #praywithme
For updates on my progress, click here.
* I completed my thesis in May 2018 and many aspects of this project have been reshaped and expanded since my defence, as projects often do. On some levels it feels odd to share what feels like a dated version of my ideas but on another I feel it is an important body of work that speaks to many of the core values I want to carry in my practice. In response to these mixed feelings around my thesis I’ve decided to put a hold on publishing my thesis till I publish my book which feels more urgent and relevant. As for the parts of my master’s experience and my thesis that I do want to share I’ve started a blog page where I share bits and pieces from my thesis and unpack what it was like for me to be a Black scholar writing about my personal and my community’s Black experiences. If you’re interested you can check it out here.
ABSTRACT - Understanding Blackness in Montreal: A Toolkit for Engaging Youth in Critical Dialogue Around Race is a research-creation project that explores the potential for engaging youth in critical dialogue around racial dynamics in Montreal. Through the creation of two alternative educational tools, rooted in principles of critical pedagogy, I aim to help youth contextualize the effects of the racial fabrication of Blackness. In this goal, I center the lived experiences and histories of Montreal’s Black communities using the methods of character-facilitated autobiographical storytelling and participatory archive revival. The first tool, MF’s Handbook to Navigating Blackness in Montreal, is a 100-page youth-aimed handbook narrated in the first-person by a character who represents my younger self. In this handbook, the character MF, invites young readers to join her as she speaks about the process of becoming critical and informed about the factors that shape how Blackness is understood in Montreal and how this idea of Blackness impacts her lived experience as a Black girl in Montreal. The second tool, Mapping Blackness in Montreal: An Archive Revival Workshop, is a 3-part workshop series aimed at small to medium-sized groups of youth (aged 8 to 16), which invites youth to take on the role of ‘young radical researchers’ in their exploration of Blackness in Montreal. On one level, the goal of this workshop is to help the participants identify absence and misrepresentation of Blackness in hegemonic culture, while on another it encourages the participants to collectively build and map their understanding of Blackness through the revival of archives sourced from Montreal’s Black communities. With this workshop, participants are able to learn about both the presence and contributions of Montreal’s Black communities while also critically discussing the reality of these communities. My goal in designing these two alternative educational tools is to explore creative methods of facilitation that could successfully engage youth in critical dialogue around racial dynamics in Montreal.
past creative lives
Storytelling & Documentaries
There was a point in my life where I thought making documentaries would be my calling. I’ve now learned that I am a soul of many callings and that storytelling & story sharing will always be core to what I do. My debut documentary Kafou Krèyol is a special archive in my creative past because I learned a lot myself in its productions and so many of the participants in this film are deeply dear to my heart. I might end up shooting another doc one day when but for now, Kafou Kreyol has my heart.
Radio & Music Journalism
I’m an avid fan of Montreal Black Arts and I used to be a very active participant in the Montreal Hip Hop scene. I hosted a radio show, wrote for many magazines and covered quite a few events over the years. My focus has shifted recently but radio & music journalism still hold a special space in my heart so don’t be surprised if you see me drop a playlist, review or recommendation here and there.
Music videos & Videography
When I was deep in my relationship with the Montreal Hip Hop scene I started carrying a camera around to capture photos of the greatness and somehow my cousin Alexey ended up convincing me to take up videography. I got to work so many great people, have access to amazing places and really push my creative mind. Videography is definitely not for me but I’m grateful for those experiences and proud of the moments I was able to capture. One of my personal fav projects of the sort was making Sam I Am’s music video for ‘Show Ya Light’. Talk about talent, love & light!