Bio



Photo by Scott Eustis / Healthy Gulf. Flight courtesy SouthWings.



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Imani Jacqueline Brown (b. 1988) is an artist, activist, and architectural researcher from New Orleans, based in London. Her work investigates the 'continuum of extractivism', which spans from settler-colonial genocide and slavery to fossil fuel production, gentrification, and police and corporate impunity.
 In exposing the layers of violence and resistance that form the foundations of US society, she opens up space to imagine paths to ecological reparations.

Imani makes videos and installations, organises public actions, delivers testimony to organs of the United Nations, occupies billboards, writes polemics, performs lectures, and uses counter-cartographic strategies to map the spatial logics that make geographies, unmake communities, and break Earth’s ecologies. Her work has been presented internationally, including in the US, the UK, Poland, Germany, and the UAE, most recently at the 12th Berlin Biennale.

Among other things, she is currently a PhD candidate at Queen Mary, University of London, a research fellow with Forensic Architecture and an associate lecturer in MA Architecture at the Royal College of Arts.

Press on Imani’s work has been featured in or on The New York Times, The New York Times Style MagazineArt Forum, CNN, NextCity, and more. Her writing has been published in MARCH, a journal of art and strategy, CC:World, a project of Haus der Kulteren der Welt, The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Pelican Bomb, Blok Magazine, Krytyka Polityczna, Shelterforce Magazine. She has been awarded fellowships through Salzburg Global Seminar's Young Cultural Innovators and The British Council's Future Leaders Connect programs. She has participated in artist residencies at the Ujazdowski Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Poland (2017), The Luminary Arts in St. Louis, MO (2018), and Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin County, CA (2018). Imani was named a ‘visionary’ in the Grist 50 list of 2018.

Imani received her MA with distinction from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2019, and her BA in Anthropology and Visual Arts from Columbia University in 2010.

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In 2018, Imani founded Fossil Free Fest (FFF), a biennial gathering of art, music, food and difficult conversations about the ethical contradictions of fossil fuel philanthropy and celebrate the impending end of the Fossil Fuel Era. The Fest was presented by Antenna, a multi-arts incubator in New Orleans. 

From 2011–2018, Imani was a member of Occupy Museums, an artist-activist collective formed in 2011 during Occupy Wall Street to challenge the commodification and financialization of art and culture. Occupy Museums’ project, Debtfair was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

From 2016-2018, Imani worked as Director of Programs at Antenna. In 2014, Imani co-founded Blights Out, a collective of artists, activists, and architects who worked for four years to demystify and democratize development in post-Katrina New Orleans. She was a board member of Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, a community land trust that built New Orleans' first permanently affordable housing from 2017-18.

In 2015, Imani traveled to COP 21 to help establish the international Museum Liberation Movement as part of #FossilFreeCulture. In 2014, she served under the artistic direction of Franklin Sirmans as Curatorial Associate and Manager of Publications for Prospect.3, the international biennial of contemporary art in New Orleans. In 2013, she took part in Winter Holiday Camp, the democratic takeover of the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Poland, in support of a union labor strike against the then-director. In 2009, she worked as the Oil and Gas Accountability Campaign Leader for Healthy Gulf, known then as the Gulf Restoration Network.

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All images and texts on this site are the creations of Imani Jacqueline Brown, unless otherwise noted, e.g. photodocumentation of works or collaborative projects. All works fall under a creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.