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M. Charlene Stevens

first performed on January 11, 2020
Lorimoto Gallery, Ridgewood, NY
performed once in 2020


Vidho Lorville, Sol Sax, Latefy Dolley, Brunette Joseph, Brifrei Foster, Uniska Wahala Kahno, Saadiah Fowlkes, Jazmine Hayes

Queens, NY


My multidisciplinary series titled “JUNKANOOACOME” incorporates visual arts, costuming, performance art, Afro-Caribbean dance, music, social practice, intervention and ephemera, and responds to the current political climate in regards to historical landmarks and gentrification. The series is a modern-day take on a traditional Caribbean holiday masquerade created by enslaved Africans and performed specifically around Christmas and New Years in the Caribbean.

In this special 2020 performance iteration of “JUNKANOOACOME,” I presented a Christmas themed event in my neighborhood of Ridgewood, Queens at Lorimoto gallery. Performing as the lead character, I donned an Americanized version of the “House Jon Canoe” by wearing a replica of The White House. Portions of America’s colonized history was narrated by one of the performers including the story of the ownership of the enslaved, Sally Hemmings by President Thomas Jefferson.

For the indoor part of the performance a new character, Belly Woman, was introduced with the action of giving birth to random color calibration papers from a Xerox machine. The gift of signage was given by another performer for the celebration. The performers then led the audience outdoors to join a procession to live music and to witness the installation of the signage augmenting the existing street sign bearing the name of the slave master, Jefferson to then read: “Jefferson was a slavemaster, Ave.”