N'DEYE DIAKHATE

Archives from Art school Daze

 
 
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Welcome Cakes

 

Rites of passage are common throughout all cultures as a coming of age. However we don’t define the rites of passage for queer bodies. Making this work was an exploration of what it means to have key milestones in the cultural lives of queer and trans people of color.

One of the most universal experiences for us is societal shaming. Inspired by Sweet 16’s, I asked friends to bake a cake of their choosing, decorated with what was said the first time someone tried to shame them for their sexuality. They then did whatever they wanted to their cakes.

(2013)

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Maps

When walking through Baltimore City, the segregation is stark. Effects from redlining and housing segregation means entire neighborhoods can be separated by a single street, and with it are entire shifts in race, culture, and income level. This project was meant to illustrate that feeling based off of 2013 census reports and research based mapping.

For it, I recreated and printed the maps I found for each statistic and printed them on transparent sheets of paper. The sheets can then be overlaid, mixed and matched to see the correlations between location and opportunity, more specifically described as “The White L and the Black Butterfly”. In other words: Central Baltimore contains the wealth of the city, and East and West Baltimore is kept from it both physically and systemically.

(2015)


Patterns

Patterns developed as a way to explore my Senegalese heritage in conjunction with psychological literacy and spirituality. As a designer, I found reconnecting with markers and paper to be very healing. Doodling became a method of self-recovery, and relatively quickly became riddled with symbology that translated to my psychic state in the moment of drawing. Symbols emerged representing anxiety, connection to others, stability, divinity, etc. and their composition allowed a coherent articulation of my emotions. Their development into full patterns was inspired by my father’s robes he had left behind from Dakar. The pattern styles themselves are reference of them, and the color palettes were directly used from each robe.

(2015)


 

Alphabet

When challenged with making a typeface from photographed raw materials, I chose to use my own strands of hair. Over the past few years I’ve developed a hair-pulling tick as a result of a challenging mental health experience. This piece was made when this habit was just beginning, and was created as an exploration of this new aspect of my body.

(2014)


 

#Teamlightskin

Around the early 2010’s when #teamlightskin and #teamdarkskin were still trending, my mother found 1950’s Ebony and JET magazines in pristine condition. What struck me (aside from being these great artifacts of black design history) were the amount of ads for skin bleaching and lightening creams. Though skin bleaching is a popular modern concept, its rarely discussed how far back this practice goes. Globally, highly-melanated black and brown people put their bodies at risk in an attempt to achieve the social capital that systemic colorism bars them from. For the piece, I scanned the Ebony advertisements, printed them on newsprint, cut out the letters, and bleached the bottom half of the characters.

(2013)


Hard Work

This was a fun project. As a novice welder, I collected scrap materials to create a very precarious machine. To operate it, the handle is cranked for the arm to rotate and smack its soft, plushy bulb against the sign, never damaging the plexiglass.

(2012)

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