2009 – present

Tanji Gilliam, PhD/MFA currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania. Awarded “Year of Water” funding from the Provost’s Office, Oil House completed the popup black box video and photography exhibition “Middle Passage”(www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTmmAdI2seg)

“Middle Passage” featured 20+ Center for Africana Studies professors, all engaging connections within their research fields, unpacking an investigation on blacks and water. Their topics ranged from Dr. Salamishah Tillet’s literary history of the novel Middle Passage by Charles Johnson to Dr. Tukufu Zuberi’s (shown above) provocative discussion about garbage dumping along African coasts. Gilliam recently authored a plan for a development project connecting Oil House client, Zuberi (PBS History Detectives), Indlondlo Zulu Dancers (Cato Ridge, SA) with the Center for Africana Studies at Penn. Theaster Gates (University of Chicago) and faculty and staff affiliated with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at University of Chicago.

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