How did Kulcha Komplex originate?
In the Spring semester of 2003, while walking down Washington St. in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, USA me and my homegirl from college were discussing how to bring a more Afro-Centric multicultural vibe to the downtown, college, nightlife scene. We were both undergraduates at the time, officers of a student organization on campus and were getting bored with the lack of unity among different cultures in Providence and the attitude of individuals who thought their culture was better than others. In order to hear good reggae music , you had to go to a reggae club, in order to hear good Hip Hop you had to go to another location. We wanted all of our favorite deejay’s, playing different types of music, under one roof. We were full of passion and wanted to make something different happen. The vision was a five-story building that showcased different types of music and cultural vibe. We spoke about having floors that focused on Reggae, music from Latin America, Hip Hop, African and House music. The music would be an invitation for individuals to express their cultural background freely. We planned to call it The Complex, where people from all cultures would have fun together in unity. We laughed about it, got excited about it, but didn’t pursue it. We focused instead on hosting several multi-cultural events through our campus student organization.
This experience stayed with me.
I continued to observe the lack of unity among individuals and groups of individuals as I traveled and matured. With the passing of time, my focus shifted to the magnificent ways individuals expressed and manifested their culture. I became interested in the process of how someone or a group of people become who they are or how someone or a group of people produce something. For example, I liked to eat légume from my favorite Haitian restaurant and noticed how Haitian food was similar to other Caribbean dishes. I liked to cook with particular seasonings and appreciated what the local bodega had to offer. I liked to dance to Afro-beats and Soca and realized, with the help of fantastic deejay’s, how similar the sound is from both genres. Hip Hop has always been the love of my life. The diversity within Hip Hop just always made me smile.
These observations revealed to me that there is more unity in diversity; people are more alike than they are different and everyone is in the process of becoming someone or producing something.
Since then, Kulcha Komplex began to manifest on multiple levels. The main level however asks the question how do humans become who they are?
The quest is to visually document the cultural manifestations of humans and call attention to the complexities and beauty of these manifestations.
I invite you to journey with me as I visually explore how culture manifests itself through the mind’s eye and visually document the process of becoming.
….Peace and Prosperity