neema

neema githere

Neema Githere (they/she) is an indigenous-African guerrilla theorist and curator whose work explores the web of everything

Having dreamt themselves into the world via the Internet from an early age, Neema's work archives and is curated around their coming-of-age as a digital griot. 

Presentism2020 is the manifestation of a series of ongoing theories, projects and relationships birthed along the way: afropresentism, #healingimagery, radical love, #divestfrominstagram, and data healing.

Curatorial Research & Digital Theory

Afropresentism

is a digital genre that fuses archival, fine art, and documentary practices on & through new media in the expression of an Afrofuturist lived reality. (2017-Present)

see also: presentyzmo


Data Healing

is an experimental practice which seeks to illuminate + activate the intersections between nature, spirituality, and technology. (2019-Present)

see also: cyber-doula + data trauma by olivia ross

Selected Talks & Presentations

Afropresentism: From Genre to Philosophy @ Ethel's Club 

Mixing theory with ethnography, this session explores the evolution of Afropresentism as a concept and practice. First defined in 2017 as “a genre fusing archival, documentary and fine arts on and through new media in the navigation of an Afrofuturist lived reality”; the term has since evolved to encompass a broader philosophy rooted in indigeneity and embodiment. 

“Afropresentism is you channeling your ancestry through every technology at your disposal - meditation, conversation, love, the Web - and turning absolutely everything into a portal that takes you precisely where you need to be, in this moment, towards the next. Until finally, the space between the dream and the memory collapses into being your reality—now.”- (On Afropresentism)

Reindigenizing Technology: Experiments in Afropresentism and Data Healing at Afrotectopia Fractal Fête

Original Talking Points: Guerrilla Theory: Development of Afropresentism/Evolution from #DivestFromInstagram to Data Healing; Ritual as Code: Indigenous spirituality and its algorithmic blueprints; Nature as the original internet.

Following instances of colorism and transphobia that emerged in previous sessions of the Fractal Fête program, this talk was restructured to take the form of an experimental data healing session. The presentation began with a meditation practice held by El Zenaye and called in the work of Alexis Pauline Gumbs to investigate what restorative justice looks like within a Black radical technology community. 

(Presentation Recording Forthcoming)

In this interactive program, guerrilla theorist Neema Githere explored how recentering indigeneity can confront and combat the data trauma that saturates our digital lives. 

Art Futures Dream Tank at Autograph ABP London

"Art Futures Dream Tank is a participatory workshop with Decolonize the Art World, for imagining regenerative futures for museums.

Through group discussion, Guerrilla Theorizing and speculative design, participants will name the ways we experience 'museum' and begin to tangibly dream beyond it. We will be working with facilitators brontë velez, Neema Githere, Sabrina Citra and Yaa Addae."

Algorithms of Oppression Book Club, Chapter 5 and 6 Discussion 

An online study group & noncommittal book club

September 13th,  2020
Presented by the Women's Center For Creative Work & Feminist AI in alliance with The Free Black Women’s Library–LA

This presentation wove together an overview of Chapters 5 and 6 from Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble's Algorithms of Oppression with my work on #DivestFromInstagram and Data Healing. 



This three-hour session was a performance lecture and reflection-based workshop around the concept of data healing. 

FUTURE NETWORKS was a conversation between curator Neema Githere (DATA HEALING) and designer Lucas LaRochelle (QUEERING THE MAP). Considering dialogue as a form of coding + worldbuilding, we discussed our practices with particular attention to our approaches to theorizing + designing infrastructures of care through + beyond digital technologies.

According to the Islamic mystical tradition of Sufism, Radical Love manifests inwardly as tenderness, and outwardly as justice. This four-hour workshop explored the ways in which this radical love emerges as technology — a purposeful, solution-oriented application of care — and invited participants to theorize what love-technologies could pave the way for a sustainable, mutually-assistive future.

What does it look like for us to transform communities through a technology of love — love as a verb?

Education

Unschooling/Independent Study (2017-Present)

Relevant Collectives: Radical Love Consciousness, Digital Diaspora, Data Healing

Areas of Study: Pan-Indigeneity, mutual aid, digital organizing, herbalism, queer praxis

Yale University, B.A.Candidate in African Studies (2014-2018)

Activities: Actress, Heritage Theatre Ensemble; Member, Black Student Alliance at Yale; Member, Yale African Students Association; Costume Designer, Yale Drama Coalition.

Relevant Coursework: Cinema of the Black Diaspora, Embodying Story, Black British Art and Culture, Black Speculative Fictions, History of Brazil, African Encounters with Colonialism, Gender and Sexuality in a Transnational World, Beginning isiZulu

University of Cape Town, Study Abroad, African Studies (Spring 2016)

Courses: Envisioning the Body in Visual Art, Gender in Sub-Saharan Africa, Liberation Psychology.

Peking University, Global Summer Program, Beijing, China (Summer 2015)

Courses: The Silk Road, a History of Cultural and Material Exchanges, Introductory Mandarin

Skills

  • Public Speaking
  • Facilitation
  • Travel Consulting
  • Research/Writing
  • Curation



Experience

The Africa Center, Portal Curator (New York, NY)
September 2018- December 2019

Shared_Studios is an international public arts collective whose lead project, PORTALS, is devoted to building "an internet you can walk through". As Portal Curator at The Africa Center, I facilitated programming aimed at employing the immersive technology of Portals to connect diaspora communities in New York City to communities across the 31 other Shared_Studios sites - from Nairobi, to Gaza.

Tastemakers Africa, Global Community Manager (Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa)
February 2017-August 2017

TastemakersAfrica is a peer-to-peer experiences marketplace connecting local insiders to curious travelers looking to see Africa beyond safaris. During my time as Global Community Manager, I co-led group trips and oversaw experiences in Kenya, South Africa and Ghana. In addition, I pioneered the Tastemakers Residency network, establishing and managing the first Tastemakers AirBnB in Nairobi.

Languages

Native

  • English
  • Swahili

Conversational

  • Spanish (Advanced)
  • Portuguese (Advanced)

Introductory

  • Zulu
  • French

Video Bio: Style Like U

"With her crown of Bantu hair knots and rainbow braids, Neema Githere had the smarts to get into almost every Ivy League school from a small town in Colorado, where she was feared and fetishized for her difference. She later had the bravery to drop out of Yale in favor of a life outside the systems that oppress her, upon realizing that she was unhappy in an elitist academia that is the very bastion of colonialism. Already living the happy ending, Neema is learning about radical love and transcendence from the ancient philosopher Rumi as a means of dealing with the pervasive triggers of systemic racism, traveling to every corner of the world, and is a curator".


Selected Photography

Getty Images Creative Bursary Project, "Afropresentism" (2017). 

Selected Writing

"Sankara, The Upright Man"

Commissioned to write the essay that accompanied Pierre Christophe Gam's exhibition "Sankara, The Upright Man" at the Africa Centre in London. Published in ArtAfrica Magazine. 

On Afropresentism

This piece published on The Kraal, a platform dedicated to African history, culture, and spirituality, took the form of a self-interview exploring and articulating the development of Afropresentism. 

Consumption of the Black Male Body

“Consumption of the Black Model” is a conversation piece written in collaboration with Yagazie Emezi that questions and explores how a body can be dramatized by photographers, and how this feeds the Western gaze. 

Using Format