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New Book 'Inside Black' investigates the depth and true meaning of black through art, culture, science and human consciousness


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Inside Black is a dynamic concept initiated by visual artist and poet Leslie Browne, and executed with writer, photographer Joan Gannij, which investigates the depth and true meaning of black through art, culture, science and human consciousness.

The word “Black" has been loaded with associations throughout history, referring to race, class, the human shadow side, the unknown, and Black Holes. Whether it be about the darkness of night, or the stranger in ourselves, black is an invitation to open our minds. We are striving to contradict the negative connotations which we have been conditioned to believe about ‘what is black’ in Western society.

Graphic design (cover and lay-out) by Leonie Klooster, KloosterVision Inside Black features a diverse range of chapters by an international group of 30 contributors which include: an interview with artist Anish Kapoor by filmmaker Maartje Nevejan; poetry and spoken word by Quincy Troupe, David Henderson, Sharrif Simmons, Lovely Uhlenbeek, OTION, Benjamin Fro and more; a reflection on love and Black music by Dr. Charissa Granger; Black Hole insights by Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Professor Gerard ’t Hooft; choreographer Monique Duurvoort, on mixed heritage in the dance world; Akinsanya Kambon, former Black Panther on racism in the military and police violence; a rare encounter with Muhammad Ali by Joan Gannij, and much more. There are exceptional black and white images by top photographers from the New York Times, Vanity Fair and Life magazines. Chapters featuring visual artists Anthony Murrell, Esther Tielemans, Saskia Janssen, George Korsmit, Rob Sweere, and Séan Hannan among others, include images of their work. Sara Hermanides, Leonie Klooster, Ashish Pant, and Arjan Polhuijs explore various dimensions of human behavior.

Inside Black the exhibition was in September 2020 Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam. The book is available at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam or you can order your copy online or by emailing us at [email protected].

About Leslie Browne

Leslie Browne, artist and poet, was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California, USA.

She studied drawing and painting at various academies in California before she took residence in the Netherlands where she continued her art education. Browne has exhibited her paintings for more than 40 years in the Netherlands and abroad. Her critical view of the American middle class and the effect Western society has on the world, remains a central theme in her work. In recent years her work also suggests that we as individuals need to take responsibility for our actions and emotions which in turn can change the world. Inside Black was a concept that had been percolating for six years before it became realized in 2021.

About Joan Gannij

Joan Gannij was born in New York City, raised in Hollywood, California, and relocated to Amsterdam in 1987.

She has had a rich and divers career as a photojournalist, documenting iconic writers like Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski, artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Chuck Close, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, and eventually a homeless woman who would have a major impact on her life. She was a DJ on various rock and jazz FM-radio stations in Los Angeles and San Diego, and a regular contributor to AAJ. These days she divides her time between writing articles about jazz musicians, song lyrics for jazz singers, authoring children’s books, and teaching creative writing part-time at a Dutch college. She recently completed a memoir, One Way Ticket: On My Way to Here.

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