Ingrid LaFleur

Manifest Destiny

Opening at the Library Street Collective July 20, 2019

Manifest Destiny, curated by Ingrid LaFleur, examines the practical implementation of the cultural movement Afrofuturism to alter destinies within Detroit and beyond. Inspired by the 400 year anniversary of West African captives brought to the Jamestowne settlement in Virginia, Manifest Destiny honors the legacy of Black-bodied people to forge their own destiny regardless of circumstance.

Manifest Destiny brings together 12 artists that explore new modes of thinking, planning, and building for the Afrofuture. The exhibit includes film and sculpture by Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, painting by Satch Hoyt, collage by Manzel Bowman, sculpture by Detroit native Jasmine Murrell, public art by Alisha Wormsley, and the virtual reality project NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism by Hyphen Labs. In addition to the exhibition, the programming includes a workshop series that excavates invisible histories of Black bodied self-determination. The infamous billboard There Are Black People in the Future by Alisha Wormsley will be on display above Queens Bar in Downtown Detroit. 

Manifest Destiny features the boutique DINKINESH created by Ingrid LaFleur and designed by artist Utē  Petit. DINKINESH sells Afrofuturist paraphernalia with the goal to support organizations that invest in the future of youth. The first organization to receive this support is the Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy and their program to send youth to Ghana. DINKINESH is the name given to the oldest human remains found thus far, otherwise known as Lucy in the west. Excavated in the Ethiopian region, DINKINESH in Amharic means, “You are marvelous,”  the mantra for the boutique. By resurrecting this ancient history, DINKINESH creates an origin point that is resource rich and abundant and serves as the entrance to Manifest Destiny, a warm welcome into the Afrofuture where visitors are reminded simultaneously of their individual beauty and the origin of all humanity.

To ensure Detroiters have access to participatory Afrofuture experiences, LaFleur enlisted Lady PheOnix of YES UNIVERSE to bring the traveling exhibition Digitalia to the Belt in downtown Detroit. This will be the first stop on the exhibition tour. Digitaliapresents augmented reality artwork by Francois Beaurain and Medina Dugger, Manzel Bowman, KESH, Trevor Stuurman, and Kyle Yearwood. 

Manifest Destiny will open with an artist reception on Saturday, July 20 from 6-8PM with a consecutive event in the Belt Alley that will continue until late in the evening and will include music performances by Bryce Detroit, Kesswa, and Tunde Olaniran. After party to immediately follow at Deluxx Fluxx. Manifest Destiny is organized by Library Street Collective and curated by Ingrid LaFleur. The project is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.