Roshani Thakore uses art to broaden an understanding of place, uncover histories, elevate voices, and expand a sense of belonging, all with the hope of reconstructing power. She uses her positionality and power to complicate, leverage, and advocate with people who have been marginalized to transform systems of oppression through political and community education and acts of resistance.
She uses organizing strategies, research, and conversations to understand a site and context. She uses her skills, interests, and knowledge in collaboration with a person, people, or an institution to create an entirely new work informed by all of the collaborators.
Since 2019 she is the Artist-in-Residence at the Asian Pacific Network of Oregon, a statewide, grassroots organization, uniting Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice. Prior to this residency, she received funding from the Division Midway Alliance Creative Placemaking Projects Grant with her project East Portland Art+ Justice Lab. She is a 2020 graduate of the Art and Social Practice MFA program. For her graduate publication, she produced some light, shades of support in our current art ecosystems. You can download some light here.
The East Portland Art + Justice Lab at O82 is a transformative space nurturing engagement, leadership, and change agents by hosting artmaking activities, festivals, discussions, artist residencies, events, and more, weaving the values, knowledge, and experiences of ROSE CDC, APANO, and O82 tenants to create our own cultural fabric in East Portland. The Lab acts as a platform that amplifies the knowledge and resources available in our community in areas of resilience, linguistic, ethnic, and cultural diversity, and resourcefulness directly by the people themselves. The Lab has started an Artist Residency Program with local artists and O82 residents lasting until November 2021. Felecia Graham and Roshani Thakore will work together on a community project on the public health topic of health and safety for black babies and mothers.