As an artist it is diacritical to respond to the environment one is surrounded by. I do this by creating works that have two goals: either these pieces create a space for escape, and uninhibited exploration of how the individual audience member has been handling their existence, or the piece creates a political space - a classroom of sorts. My work is either refreshing, or a jarring wakeup call. This is by design.
However, I will never do anything to hurt the audience - because I create from a place of empathy, and from a desire of helping people understand each other. As a queer afro-latinx violinist and composer, I understand what exclusion feels like - I understand what being outside of an experience feels like, and how that fosters environments of unreliability and thus has the ultimate effect of reaffirming the systemic issues that have been plaguing our society.
I believe my work can contribute to the fight against racism. Homophobia. Transphobia. Sexism. Colorism. Classism. Outdated colonial mentalities. I can give people rest and space to process trauma with escapism, or I can give them a space with data and facts about the evils of the world which prompts them to consider their social responsibilities.
I believe that as an artist at the intersection of so many identities, I have access to that many more people’s eyes, ears, and hearts.
Therefore it is my duty to create fiercely and unapologetically. I am here to respond, so that others can understand - and react. I am here to create, to galvanize others to do.
I am here to help us move forward.
- Darian Donovan Thomas