Colorline

Colorline

2016

A street performance replicating Tulsa's color line and its impact. 


https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/GreenwoodandArcher2.jpg?attredirects=0

I grew up in Coffeyville, KS - a small town, segregated by railroad tracks - ones you did not cross. And I crossed them. I was not raised in an activist home. I had no language for racial justice then. But I knew I was welcome and safe on the east side of the tracks in ways that Black children were not welcome and safe on the west side of them. 


I moved to Tulsa in 2014 - north Tulsa specifically - and here I cross the equivalent of those childhood railroad tracks again. This is the image before me: Black, brown, white, then back: white, brown, Black. From this image, I created Colorline.

https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/Walkers.jpg?attredirects=0

Colorline is a dance, choreographed for rollers and steppers. In the intersection of North Greenwood Avenue and East Archer Street, eight artists of color and eight white artists replicated Tulsa's color line and its impact, leaving traces in the street and on the heart.

https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/rollers_&_steppers.jpg
https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/Colorline_Interact2.jpg

None of us want to be what we are in this dance but the truth is we all are. As Colorline performers we don't censor our impulses - no matter how ashamed, shocked, sad, angry, etc. we might be about those impulses - we act on them; and our responsibility is to convey the emotions behind these impulses to the audience, reflecting to them our shared contradictions and difficulties around race.

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Colorline has an interview component. I spoke to members of the community in recorded interviews covering experiences with racial segregation in Tulsa and observations on its impact.

https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/20160522-596A3681_2.jpg?attredirects=0

The original reason behind the interviews was ethical. You cannot speak for the community without speaking to the community - so I set out to inform my project with the community's words.  Five minutes into my first interview, I knew that the interviews were a stand alone part of this project. There were voices that needed to be heard. These voices are the first component of Colorline. 

https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/Luis_&_Kerrie.jpg
https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/Mia.jpg
https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/Tyler.jpg

"The world-shifting effect of Marianne Evans-Lombe's work is the result of a tenacious devotion to reality. Her work is simple, silent and unassuming; it is also deeply complex and meticulously crafted. She builds it laboriously, courageously, layer by intuitively crafted layer, yet when the work is presented in the clear light of day it is so plain that anyone can read it. She moves bodies in time and space with illusion-shattering results, pushing at the boundaries of our endurance to allow or force us to see what we have neglected or refused to see. Colorline is a triumph of listening, a demand for restoration, a roar of light in a haunted space."  - Alicia Chesser

"Nothing could have prepared me for the impact Colorline had on me. From the first rehearsal to the performance, being a "roller" changed me irrevocably. I pushed my body across the cold, hard surfaces of racism and indifference; of swallowed rage, resentment and humiliation; of white silences and the yawning mouth of endless black pain. My pain. I tried to ignore it, be somewhere else, pretend it didn't exist, but the concrete provides no comfort. Eventually, I rolled over it all, felt the gravel and broken glass of it in my skin, felt its dirt in my hair and mouth. And I KEPT MOVING because I had no choice. Colorline laid that truth very naked and bare for me - I have no choice but to keep rolling. I will never be the same." - Mia Wright, Colorline Performer

https://sites.google.com/site/bodydrawingsmarianne/colorline/Neg.%20Scan241.jpg


For more information on Colorline, follow and share the hashtag #colorlinetulsa on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and like the Facebook page, Colorline Tulsa.

Donate to Colorline: gofund.me/colorlinetulsa

Colorline performers: Deena Burkes, Cameron Dennis, Marianne Evans-Lombe, Rosa Evans-Lombe, Karyn Fox, Luis Garcia, Kerrie Harlin, Tyler Harrison, Larry Hochhaus, Alexis Matthews, Sally Ramirez, Mana Tahaie, Juanita Vang, Chris West, Eli Wright, and Mia Wright.

Colorline was part of Colorline Tulsa, a four part project examining racial segregation in Tulsa - 25 interviews, Rodney Clark’s Crossing the No Crossing Zone, Mia Wright’s “black/black/white/white”, and Colorline.

Credit for Colorline's costume concept goes to Eli Wright, one of the Colorline performers. Each performer was given the task of creating a costume that embodies or reflects their emotional response to the color line and its impact.

Colorline was photographed by Meggan Weece and Blessing Etumudor and filmed by Drew Rosene and Alan Winner.

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