Globally Connected @ FIT
Short presentations, talks, and discussions for the FIT community
This is a series of 45-minute virtual discussions led by students, faculty, and alumni to advance global education at FIT in our new world with limited mobility. The major themes will be fashion, art, sustainability, racial equity, and life during the pandemic around the world.
Co-organizers: Helen Gaudette and Alexander Nagel
Hosted by the Office of International Programs, History of Art, and the Cultural Fellows
Professional Interactions in a Global World
Nurhayat Bilge and Eva Haug
April 7: 12:15-1:00pm
We are globally connected. We are more vibrant, mobile, and globally interconnected than any other point in time. As a result, our professional lives offer energizing and inspiring diversity across the globe. Yet, are we prepared to work side by side and collaborate with people who may see the world differently than we do? Global connectivity is enriching but also challenging in many ways. In this talk, Eva Haug and Nurhayat Bilge will discuss challenges of global work and offer insights for more effective interactions through their expertise and their personal experiences working in and working with cultural differences.
Nurhayat Bilge is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Communication
Studies at FIT.
Eva Haug is the Educational Advisor for Internationalisation of the Curriculum & COIL and senior lecturer of Intercultural Competence at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
Hosted by the Office of International Programs, History of Art, and the Cultural Fellows
* Poster designed by Cultural Fellow Nazera Bhavnagari
Our talks are recorded and archived and are available upon request.
Prof. Preeti Arya, Assistant Professor, Textiles Development and Marketing, and Faculty Advisor for the FIT chapter of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) with Prof. Imran Islam, Assistant Professor, Textiles Development and Marketing, and FIT students Rebecca Dillenberger, Samantha Galanti, Alper Katranci, and Eylem Yazici in a conversation about the harm that petroleum fibers and fast fashion does to the world's environment and therefore ourselves, and the actions we might take to protest against them.
Dr. Imran Islam has worked in the apparel industry in a variety of positions, and has published in the Journal of Fibers and Polymers, the International Journal of Innovation & Development Strategy, and others. Imran holds a Ph.D. from Kansas State University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, a Master of Science and Master of Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Textile Technology in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
February 24, 2022
Traditionally the Fashion Industry has operated through a linear economy, following the Take-Make-Waste trend for products. Our current climate crisis demands a shift in societal patterns, creation, and consumption. The shift to a circular economy offers a promising solution to waste reduction and resource preservation. Please join us for a stimulating conversation about creating for the future. The talk will be moderated by Cultural Fellows Stephanie Baljet and Camila Quiroga.
Riley Lusher, OUR CHOICE – Visual Designer, Choose2B Inspirational Apparel – Operations
Management, BFA Fashion Design Women’s Sportswear, Minor Degree in Ethics and Sustainability
Riley is a Designer and Maker working to explore the interconnectedness of all beings, and create work that honors and respects these relationships. She would like to shift her central focus of creation from simply lessening her environmental impact to actually benefiting all beings and the environment from her work’s inception. She enjoys constantly learning new trades, from carpentry to web development to 3D rendering. Regardless of any professional title or position, Riley is a passionate problem-solver, designer, and maker. Going forward she hopes to be able to harness these passions in ways that will promote growth and vitality.
Todd Blumenthal, Assistant Professor, Fashion Business Management
A Visionary leader and master storyteller, Todd teaches with a highly effective balance of business skills, innovative creativity, an entrepreneurial mindset, and refined aesthetics. Throughout his corporate career, hisfocusis on the training and development of the special hard and soft skills and competencies necessary in theNewEconomy for professional team and management development. For More than 25 years in the fashion industry, Todd has partnered with great global brands including: Nike, Victoria’s Secret, The Gap, and Ralph Lauren developing an expertise for sustainable product commercialization.
Thursday, December 9 12:15–1 pm EST
FIT in Milan Professor Annalisa Mazzoli, FIT Professor Ron Amato, and Alum Steven Molina Contreras.
Globally Connected @ FIT has brought together a panel of three artists who have recently produced work that explores themes of identity, personal history, intimate relationships, and time. Join us for a discussion about their work and how they explore their identities and histories through their lenses.
Thursday, October 14, 2021
A conversation about building bridges between students in the United States and Lebanon through the virtual exchange of COIL.
Professor Praveen K. Chaudhry teaches the course SS 151 - Introduction to World Affairs in collaboration with Professor Céline Merheb, who teaches about human rights at the American University of Technology, Lebanon. They will share their experiences and what their students have learned from each other.
COIL provides faculty and students an opportunity to interact with international peers, from their home campus. COIL gives faculty new experiences in co-teaching and research, and students the opportunity to gain global awareness and intercultural competencies in cross-cultural teamwork and intercultural communication.
Praveen K. Chaudhry is Professor of Politcal Science at FIT. He is a recipient of the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellors Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities. Before joining FIT, Professor Chaudhry taught at Swarthmore College, Lafayette College, Ohio University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Delhi. From 2004 to 2011, he was a visiting research fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India: during this period, he produced several books.
He was a Visiting Fellow at the Office of the Executive Director (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan), International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC. The publications connected with this fellowship dealt with the relationships between the United States / IMF and were translated into several languages. He was also a Visiting Professor at Nelson Mandela Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Currently he is involved in SUNY COIL with a focus on MENA countries, specifically Lebanon.
Céline Merheb, PhD is Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at La Sagesse University. As an associate professor, and appointed in several universities in Lebanon, she is developing exciting opportunities in instructional activities and innovative interdisciplinary research, in International Relations and Social Sciences. As coordinator of COIL at American University of Technology (AUT) in Lebanon since 2017, this summer she helped manage a course on Empathy and Leadership between Texas University, Auruk University (UAE) and AUT, focusing on a virtual exchange between students of the three universities. She is also managing a research team with Pharos Laboratory and Adyan Association in order to create the "International Barometer of Cultural and Religious Pluralism".
Moderated by Cultural Fellows Isha Kesarwani and Alexis Yap.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Curator Daphne Vitali (National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece) in conversation with Chrysa Tasioula (AHMP FIT)
Daphne Vitali is a young and emerging Curator at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens in Greece. Recently curated projects include “Deeper Than Silence,” a series of sound art commissions at the Roman Agora in Athens (2020); “When the Present is History” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki (2021), and “Everything is in a State of Change” in Athens (2021) which explored the relationship and interconnection between the human and the animal worlds. Daphne Vitali studied history of art and contemporary art theory at Goldsmiths College in London. She will be in conversation with Chrysa Tasioula, Senior in the Art History and Museum Professions (AHMP) Program at FIT.
Thursday, May 6, 2021
As we look to a post-pandemic world, a new generation of designers, artists and creative leaders are reimagining the future of fashion. We talk to those working in the rapidly growing creative economy of Eastern Europe to discuss their work, inspiration and the creative influence of the region.
Hosted by Zeke Edwards, a Cultural Fellow and undergraduate student in the Entrepreneurship for the Fashion & Design Industries program and Marissa Lee, an undergraduate student in the Advertising & Marketing Communications program. Zeke works as a fashion sales and marketing specialist and Marissa is the Junior Editor at Mission Magazine and a freelance writer.
- Maia Gogiberidze: As the founder & CEO of Materiel Tbilisi, Gogiberidze has used her expertise to build a contemporary fashion house in partnership with one of Georgia’s oldest apparel manufacturers. Materiel has a sustainable focus and serves as a launching pad for many of the country’s top designers. In 2016, Gogiberidze expanded her work in founding Tbilisi-based concept store DOTS, interacting with foreign markets and customers alongside those in her native Tbilisi.
- Salome Mikashavidze: Originally from Georgia, Salome built a foundation working with noteworthy Tbilisi-based brands, including the likes of Materiel Tbilisi. Transitioning to her work as founder & CEO of fashion sales and PR agency NOIZY, Mikashavidze currently works with a number of the country’s most prominent emerging designers and creatives. She is a Tbilisi tastemaker and expert fashion brand developer who is actively shaping the creative landscape of Georgia.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Globally Connected @FIT and the Virtual Artist Talk Series presents Roberta Smith, the Co-Chief art critic at the New York Times
As a co-chief art critic of The New York Times, Roberta Smith regularly reviews museum exhibitions, art fairs and gallery shows in New York, North America and abroad.
Since joining The Times in 1991, Roberta Smith has written on Western and non-Western art from the prehistoric to the contemporary eras. She sees her main responsibility as “getting people out of the house,” making them curious enough to go see the art she covers, but she also enjoys posting artworks on Instagram and Twitter. Special areas of interest include ceramics textiles, folk and outsider art, design and video art.
She has written critic’s notebooks on the need for museums to be free to the public; Brandeis University’s decision to close its museum and sell its art collection (later rescinded), and the unveiling of the Google Art Project, which allowed online HD views of paintings in the collections of scores of leading museums worldwide.
Born in New York City and raised in Kansas, Ms. Smith is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa. Before coming to The Times she wrote for the Village Voice. In 2003 she received the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism.
Travel has long been a favorite social activity of people around the world. The last year has altered dramatically the way we travel and broadly connect with different cultures. But COVID has brought opportunities as well as challenges. In 2020 and 2021, three professors teaching about, in and from Italy have found creative ways to address aspects of creative travels, fashion and business, offline and online. In this conversation, Silvio Betterelli (FIT Milan), Erica Moretti (FIT New York), and Lorenzo Pirisino (FIT Florence and Polimoda) will introduce their work and also search for answers to questions: How will we have changed after the pandemic? How radically has Italy shifted towards sustainability? How can we connect to a culture, language, or more generally people from far away? The event will start with the reading of a poem, and is moderated by FIT Cultural Fellow Camila Quiroga.
Thursday, April 15
- Silvio Betterelli is a fashion designer in Milan where he opened his own label and atelier. After studying in Sardinia, Milan, and the UK, he received a residency research award from Les Ateliers de Paris and became the only Italian Finalist of the Tokyo Fashion Grand Prix. He was also awarded the “Who’s Next” prize of Vogue Italia. He won two prizes at the Mittelmoda international award in Gorizia, where he is now part of the Jury panel. Silvio is Senior Portfolio of Fashion Design at Politecnico for “FIT in Milan,” and chair at Nuova Accademia di belle arti (Naba). Since 2015 he is the Creative Head of 'Bio Ethical Sustainable Trends (B.E.S.T.) in Cittadellarte, and since 2020 head of product and design development of the Italian brand Borbonese.
- Erica Moretti is an Assistant Professor of Italian at the Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY. She received a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Brown University and a diploma in American Studies from Smith College. Her research — rooted in biopolitics, gender and sexuality studies, and critical theory — focuses on pacifism, refugees and displacement, and humanitarianism in Modern Italy.
- Born in Italy, Lorenzo Pirisino studied Economics and Japanese at Reading University in England and Japan. After graduation, Lorenzo returned to Italy and started working in the world of fashion, travelling extensively around the world. Holding positions in Export Management, Marketing, Retail Operations, Brand and Product Development, Lorenzo has worked for renowned fashion producers such as Ratti and Mitsubishi Fashion, as well as fashion and interiors retail brands such as The Bridge, RCR, Signoria di Firenze, Devon & Devon. Since 2015, Lorenzo has been teaching Fashion Business Management courses at FIT in Florence, and more recently with Polimoda, a fashion school in Florence.
- Cultural Fellow Camila Quiroga
Three journeys, on three continents, demonstrating the healing power and artistic promise of stitching and amending. In this conversation, Susanne Goetz, Barbara Mugnai and Yasmine Dabbous will share their stories, and discuss the role of process in transforming challenges into life-learning opportunities.
In Fall 2019, Susanne Goetz traveled to Europe and India to explore embroidery as both a traditional textile craft and contemporary artistic medium. The embroideries she worked on during her trip act as visual memories, not unlike a travel diary or photographs. During her trips, Susanne explored the communicative potentials of hand embroidery as well as the connections of the medium with female domesticity and craft activism.
In February 2020, the sudden outbreak of COVID 19 forced FIT in Milan students to return home to complete their thesis garments. Barbara Mugnai patiently and resiliently guided students as they worked during the lockdown with limited access and resources, using creativity to overcome challenges. The experience, which demonstrates the importance of the process in adapting to crisis, is documented in the film “Future of Fashion, Milan 2020.”
On August 4, 2020, the world’s strongest non-atomic explosion obliterated parts of Beirut, where Alumna Yasmine Dabbous resides. The art school that she founded, near the epicenter of the explosion, was itself quite hit. But once repaired, the studio welcomed hundreds of students who came to forget and stayed to create. During this experience, Dabbous got to guide and observe the process that helped Beirut’s residents overcome the trauma
Thursday, March 18
- Susanne Goetz is Associate Professor | Textile Surface Design and Fabric Styling Department, and her focus is on both digital and traditional approaches to textile design and production, as well as global sustainable design, manufacturing and business practices. She has practiced embroidery for over 25 years, authored a popular hand embroidery elective at FIT, and conducted workshops on hand, machine, and smart embroidery. Susanne teaches an annual short term study abroad program on artisanship, sustainability and fair labor practices in India. Originally from Germany, she worked as a textile designer, lecturer, researcher and project manager in Germany, Thailand, and the UK before moving to New York.
- Yasmine Dabbous is a visual culture artist and researcher from Beirut, Lebanon. Formerly an assistant professor of journalism and cultural studies, Dabbous left her university position to become the founder of Kinship Stories, a line of tribal art necklaces revolving around values, stories and craftsmanship. She is also the founder of Espace Fann, a Beirut-based creative space offering accessible university-level art education designed to heal and empower. Armed with a PhD in journalism and cultural history from Louisiana State University and a Textile/Surface Design degree from FIT, Dabbous fuses interdisciplinary methodologies and mediums to create works combining travel, storytelling, collage and fiber art.
- Barbara Mugnai is Adjunct Professor since 2007 for FIT in MILAN, the Fashion Institute of Technology study abroad program at Politecnico di Milano, where she runs courses related to several areas of expertise: from draping to pattern-making, from tailoring techniques to active sportswear constructions. She is currently in charge of the project Research in Didactic Innovation within the Department of Excellence in Fashion Design for Politecnico di Milano with the aim of studying, developing and applying new method of teaching and to create new didactic tools to facilitate the learning process for bachelor's degree Fashion courses.
- Cultural Fellow Isha Kesarwani
One of the primary aspects of the concept of 'making an impact’ is ‘doing measurable good’. It is linked to the fact that there are a growing number of social and environmental challenges that we as society members can, and must, tackle. Courtney Deacon Lalotra, FIT Alumna 2010, International Trade and Marketing shares how her organization, One Life to Love, was able to pioneer COVID relief efforts in migrant communities in India during a nationwide lockdown, and further adapt their already established programs to address the evolving needs pertaining to girls’ education, women’s health, and children with special needs. Courtney elaborates how One Life to Love envisions to be better prepared for future needs and how everyone can shoulder the responsibility.
Thursday, March 11
- Courtney Deacon Lalotra is the Founder and President of One Life to Love, an international nonprofit organization based in New Jersey. She is leading social change efforts in India through her work with abandoned special needs children. She is further making a mark in the field of girls education and women's sexual health. Courtney believes empowering women and children ushers in a mindset and generational change necessary for community development.
- Cultural Fellows Siddhi Daga and Isha Kesarwani
Join Cultural Fellow Anya Swapp as she introduces BSU Vice President Ashleigh Simpson in an interview with Jo-Well Paupaw, senior writer and producer for BET. While exploring some concepts within the BSU’s “Back to the Present'' exhibition, parallels are drawn to Jo-Well Paupaw's career journey. Through this conversation, they will discuss the importance of blackness in creative industries like fashion and entertainment, while finding a likeness in their work.
Friday, February 26
- Cultural Fellow Anya Swapp, Fashion Business Management
Ashleigh Simpson is now in her final semester of the Fashion Design AAS program at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has participated in numerous events promoting cultural awareness within the fashion industry while undertaking various roles of leadership. As an Orientation Leader and Vice President of the Black Student Union, her interactions have led her to become more hands-on. She is a co-curator of the Back to the Present virtual exhibition which opened February 2021 and has led a Sustainable Black-Owned Business Panel in partnership with FIT’s UNICEF club in October 2020. She will continue her education in FIT’s Fabric Styling BFA program in Fall 2021.
- Jo-Well Paupaw is an award-winning writer-producer dedicated to promoting and spotlighting narratives that are inclusive of diverse stories in on-air, digital, social, experiential, out-of-home and print. Whether it’s driving social awareness or entertaining millions, her commitment is to create high-impact and quality content that's a reflection of the human experience. She holds a bachelor's degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Jo-Well is currently the senior writer-producer for BET (Black Entertainment Television) specializes in short-form, trailers, promos, key art, audio and AV storytelling.
On a chromatic sabbatical journey in 2019, Jada Schumacher journeyed around Mexico and Argentina working with local artists and their materials—targeting sites frequented by iconic designer-educators Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Ruth Asawa, Luis Barragán, and Clara Porset. Watch Jada as she crushes cochineal insects to yield vibrant crimsons and scarlets. Join her in a color-laden tour of art galleries, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and, of all places, a fountain for horses. Discover how native and urban architectural applications of color can influence contemporary culture around the world.
Thursday February 11, 2021
Jada Schumacher is a Professor in the Communication Design Pathways Department at FIT and coordinates FIT’s Color Studies Minor. She is Founding Director of designorange, a materials-obsessed design studio. In addition to creating custom designs, her work is featured in installations in cities such as Budapest, Stockholm, Tallinn, and Zurich (from the Centre Pompidou to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair NYC). She serves as an international Color and Trend Reporter for the Government of Japan and presents chromatic lectures at El Salvador Color Week, Harvard University, and the Association Internationale de la Couleur/International Color Association Conferences.
- Cultural Fellow Isha Kesarwani, Fashion Design
- Professor Chiara Buss graduated in art history from Columbia University, New York, and has an M. A. in palaeography from Archivio di Stato, Milan. In the mid-seventies she turned to research in textile history and has since published numberless studies on the subject, while dedicating a large part of her activity to planning and curating exhibitions on textile and fashion history in Europe, the USA and Japan. She teaches social history of textiles at the Graduate program at Università Cattolica, in Milano and at FIT, Milan campus at Politecnico, besides giving seminars at universities in Europe, Australia and China. She has directed the Textile Museum at the Ratti Foundation in Como, and the Institute of Lombard Art in Milan. Her books have been translated into English, French, German, Japanese and Chinese.
- Featuring paintings by FIT Fine Arts students and music by Daniel Cooper, Adjunct Associate Professor in FIT's Film, Media, and Performing Arts.
In time of quarantine, a new generation of designers, artists and creative thinkers are reimagining what the future can look like. We talk to those working in a creative economy that is both underestimated and underrepresented, Southeast Asia, about their brand identity post-pandemic and personal identity as Southeast Asian designers in a world working to decolonize life—and art.
Thursday, December 17
- Cultural Fellows Zeke Edwards, Entrepreneurship, and Audrey Martiandy, Textile/Surface Design
Tom Trandt, Founder and Designer, Môi Điên Studio: After graduating with his BA in fashion design from Parsons in New York, Tom Trandt returned to his home of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to start his independent fashion brand Môi Điên. His unisex designs are inspired by Asian streetwear with a focus on sustainability. He has received international recognition for his work and has been featured in the Forbes Vietnam 30 Under 30 list.
Vu Thao, Founder & Designer, Kilomet109: Based in Hanoi, Vu Thao is a pioneer in Vietnam’s sustainable fashion industry. Since its founding, her brand Kilomet109 has worked with local artisans throughout Vietnam and draws from the country’s rich textile heritage. All of her designs are produced using natural and sustainably sourced materials. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and Harper’s Bazaar.
- Pipatchara Kaeojinda, Founder & Designer, PIPATCHARA: Since graduating with her BFA from the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco and later with her graduate studies at the esteemed École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Pipatchara has worked with brands like Ralph Lauren, Chloé and Givenchy. She now designs for her Bangkok-based namesake brand, PIPATCHARA, which works with craft communities throughout Thailand to create hand-made accessories.
As a fashion historian and independent curator, finding ways to educate audiences from a distance due to COVID is a new challenge that Darnell-Jamal Lisby seeks to tackle. With his expertise in delineating the impact of Blackness within the history of fashion, creating content that physically reaches audiences and also intertwines subject matter that relates to current social issues. In his informal presentation, Darnell will highlight the ways he's able to disseminate research using various social media outlets and curatorial ventures, hoping that his journey may inspire solutions for emerging scholars and fashion-related professionals.
Thursday, December 10
- Darnell-Jamal Lisby is a fashion historian and independent curator; he holds a B.S. in Art History and Museum Professions and an M.A. in Fashion and Textile Studies, both from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Lisby approaches the history of fashion from an art historical context with a particular interest to illuminate the impact of Blackness on fashion history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In addition to his recent work to help curate the Willi Smith: Street Couture exhibition at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, he contributed to the fashion curatorial efforts at various institutions such as the Museum at FIT and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also contributes regularly to various academic and mainstream platforms, expanding how he educates audiences on the discipline. His credits include works for Cultured Magazine, where he is a contributing editor, Teen Vogue, the Fashion and Race Database, and the FIT Fashion History Timeline.
We must all be conscious of the world around us, the people, their stories, their culture and learn to understand them. Respectful, authentic and socially correct representation matters now, more than ever. This panel is a starting point for conversation around cultural appropriation in the arts, media, and beyond. Together, we can educate ourselves to not only consume, but also create in a way that respects the integrity and boundaries of a culture, without succumbing to the stereotypes and stigmas around them.
Thursday, November 19,
- Cultural Fellows and students Siddhi Daga, Fashion Design, and Papa Oppong, MFA Fashion, with Professor Sara Paci, FIT in Florence, Kyunghee Pyun, Associate Professor in History of Art, and Valerie See, Fashion Business Management and Asian Studies student
We examine the issues and problems of cultural appropriation and borrowing that stem from the structure of power dynamics in the creative industries, fashion and entertainment in particular, and look at a number of specific case studies to explore whether they are culturally offensive or not. Analysis of the case studies shows that understanding cultural appropriation requires global and socio-historical contextualization and cultural inequalities inherent in various aesthetic expressions, and, they raise thought-provoking questions as to how far designers, creators, and entertainers can go to utilize and adopt other people’s cultural components as part of their creative inspiration and are not perceived as an offensive mockery or vulgar imitation. A complex dialogue between cultural appropriation and creative inspiration serves as a window to further investigate the history, values, customs, and beliefs of different cultures in multilayered global contexts, such as social, economic, political and religious dimensions, and it simultaneously raises the level of our cultural awareness.
Thursday, November 12
Dr. Yuniya (Yuni) Kawamura earned her PhD in Sociology from Columbia University and is trained as a professional designer at Bunka College of Fashion in Japan, Kingston University in the UK, and FIT. She is the author of The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion (2004) and Fashioning Japanese Subcultures (2012). She is a board member of the International Fashion Research Centre at Bologna University. She has been invited to teach a class on Fashion Communication to M.A. students in the School of Design at Politecnico di Milano during the Fall 2020 semester. Her research interests include fashion theory, French haute couture, youth subcultures, ethnic dress, and indigenous needlework. She is currently working on two books: “The Exclusive World of Geisha and Maiko in Contemporary Japan” and “Fashion and Sustainability in New York”.
Dr. Jung-Whan Marc de Jong is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Social Sciences Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He was born in Seoul, South Korea, grew up in The Netherlands, and ended up in New York City in August 2009 after working and studying in London and Los Angeles for over a decade. In addition to cultural appropriation in entertainment, he conducts research and teaches courses in digital sociology, criminology, and East Asian global pop culture production. Dr. de Jong holds MA degrees in American Studies from the University of Amsterdam and the University of London's School of Advanced Studies, and a MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of Southern California.
Bob Marley, the godfather of Reggae, says it best, “one love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright.” The Black Lives Matter Movement has the world saying, “enough”. Anya Swapp, International FIT student and Cultural Fellow, presents her passion project, “Next of Kin”, an art representation in support of the movement to establish systematic changes. This conversation is themed around Afrofuturism-- possessing the imagined African identity that could have potentially emerged from an African cultural experience uninterrupted by oppression. We invite all to join the conversation on Black excellence and racial equity as we continue to spark change.
Thursday, October 29
- FBM student and Cultural Fellow Anya Swapp with Awa Doumbia and Kiara Williams, members of the Black Student Union, and Janice Lawrence-Clarke, FIT Alum and Founder of CAFE - Caribbean American Fashion Exchange
In a beautifully illustrated talk, Pyun discusses joyous spectacles of modern life such as the night life, emergence of restaurants and cafes, strolls in department stores, and musical performances in theaters at the turn of the twentieth century in New York City and in other large cities. Ironically, we have learned that these are types of activities we should avoid and curtail during the pandemic. In this talk, we will appreciate a cosmopolitan lifestyle with reflections on public health and technology.
Thursday, October 22
- Dr. Kyunghee Pyun is an Associate Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Her scholarship focuses on history of collecting, reception of Asian art, diaspora of Asian artists, and Asian American visual culture. She was a Leon Levy fellow in the Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Collection. Fashion, Identity, Power in Modern Asia surveyed modernized dresses in the early twentieth century. She is working on a new book on school uniforms in East Asia.
Angelica Pomar, FIT Art History and Museum Professions senior, and Eva Mayhabal Davis, arts advocator and curator, will discuss the climate of the art world post-pandemic and what it means for Black, Indigeous, people of color, women, and queer individuals working in the arts. They will evaluate how art institutions can better represent these identities in both exhibitions and on the art careers front. Most importantly, they will look at how wider representation in the arts can be the catalyst for social equity and change.
Thursday, October 1
- Angelica Pomar is an Art History and Museum Professions senior at FIT. She identifies as Nuyorican and South American, and is passionate about social justice within the arts. Last Spring, Angelica studied abroad in Florence, Italy to further study art history and museum studies at the Lorenzo De' Medici Institute. Angelica is also an artist educator at the Museum of Arts and Design, where she helps facilitate and plan virtual public programming with the education department. Angelica has previously helped curate the exhibition Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island: Engaging with Contemporary Native American Art at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center in Queens, New York. Angelica has worked with art institutions since 2016, some of which are the Whitney Museum, New York Historical Society, SOHO20 Art Gallery, and The Morgan Library.
- Eva Mayhabal Davis (b. Toluca, Mexico) is an arts advocate and curator. She has collaborated on exhibitions at BronxArtSpace, En Foco, Expressiones Cultural Center, MECA International Art Fair, Photoville NYC, Queens Museum, Ray Gallery, and Smack Mellon. Based in Brooklyn, she is a co-director at Transmitter, a collaborative curatorial initiative. She is currently the intake associate at UnLocal, Inc, a non-profit organization that provides direct immigration legal representation, legal consultations, and community education to New York City’s undocumented immigrant communities.
FIT faculty member Alex Nagel in conversation with Cacao Rocks (Athens, Greece), Helia Darab (Tehran, Iran), Aisling Sareh Haghshenas (Tehran, Iran), Sara Aghajani (Siegen, Germany), and Renato D’Agostin (Venice, Italy). A discussion around how artists and galleries around the world are responding to COVID-19 and the challenges of 2020. Themes include community building and ways to understand how artists around the world respond to the new world we live in. What are the themes that bind artist communities in Tehran, Athens, and Venice in 2020? What are ways to respond and engage to the new global environment with the production of art in the summer and fall of 2020
Thursday, September 24
- Dr. Alexander Nagel is an assistant professor in FIT's History of Art department.
- Cacao Rocks (Megoulas Yassonas, born 1985) is a street graffiti artist based in Athens, Greece. His work including paintings, sculptures, video art and installations, has been exhibited in museums and galleries including the Benaki Museum in Athens and the Onassis Cultural Center and Salomon Arts Gallery in New York City. He represented Greece at Mediterranea 2018 Young Artists Biennale.
- Helia Darabi, lives in Tehran and is a member of the Contemporary Art Committee in the Art Research Center at the Iranian Academy of Art. She is writing and teaching on contemporary Iranian visual art at universities in Tehran and through her personal online platform.
- Aisling Sareh Haghshenas is an artist based in Tehran. Her work, which includes urban photography, video, and art installations, have been exhibited in the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Austria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Slovakia, and Turkey.
- Renato D’Agostin (born 1983) is a photographer based in Venice, Italy. In New York City, he worked as an assistant to Ralph Gibson. Renato’s work has been exhibited in The Library of Congress in Washington D.C., the International Center of Photography in New York, as well as LACMA in Los Angeles and elsewhere.