Malika Imhotep Wins Award for Critical Writing

20 Feb, 2020

Malika Imhotep Wins Award for Critical Writing

In its third year, the Toni Beauchamp Prize seeks to support young and mid-career art writers who combine scholarship and journalism, a unique voice, and literary excellence. Gulf Coast announced the winner of the 2019 Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing was our own Ra Malika Imhotep, for her essay "On Retrieval."

Malika is a Black feminist writer and performance artist from Atlanta, Georgia, currently pursuing a doctoral degree in African Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, with a Designated Emphasis in New Media. Her academic and creative work tends to the relationships among Black femininity, southern vernacular aesthetics, and the performance of labor.

For "On Retrieval", the judge Jessica Lynne said,

"This essay on Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle begins with a conjuring, and the writer does the rigorous, deft work of bearing witness to Hinkle’s transmissions. With a close reading of the recordings of disappeared Black women, who comprise Hinkle’s series The Evanesced, for example, as well as an astute assessment of the artist’s cosmology, Kentifrica, we as readers must reckon with the myriad ways that we are implicated in the tasks, responsibility, and obligation of seeing Black women in a manner that calls attention to, as the writer notes, “the expensive myths” that mark their pathways. This essay grounds Hinkle’s gestures in an ecology of cultural and spiritual production, from Saidiya Hartman to Zora Neale Hurston to Yoruba Egungun, as a way of naming the aesthetic terrain Hinkle traverses. This essay is as unflinching as it is careful, the result of what it means to be embedded within the many textures of an artist’s practice."

To read more about this essay, please visit here.